So, Daniel Craig has made his last appearance as James Bond in No Time to Die. Pity, I thought he was well suited to the role.
Wish I could say the same for some of his predecessors! I won’t say Craig was my all-time favourite – that would be Roger Moore – but I would put him in my top three along with Sean Connery.
I am yet to see No Time to Die so cannot attempt to comment on Craig’s last hurrah in the role.
That said, I remember with much fondness going to see the previous film, Spectre, at the cinema in The Avenue, Pattaya. A whole bunch of us went dressed in full Bond-style dinner jackets and bow ties and caused something of a stir. Fellow movie-goers asked to be photographed with us and even the cinema management asked for a photo. It was a memorable night. I recall how walking to a bar afterwards in Soi 6 for dirty martinis (you have to be familiar with the film) evoked a bizarre reaction among the bar girls down the length of the soi!
But, back to today. There have been seven actors in total who have played Bond. The others being David Niven, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan.
There is a tendency in some quarters to think of Bond as quintessentially English although author Ian Fleming portrayed him as having Scottish and Swiss parents. But the actors who have played him have been a real mixed bunch of nationalities. In order: Connery, of course, was a Scot; Niven was London-born; Lazenby an Aussie; Roger Moore (English); Timothy Dalton (Welsh); Pierce Brosnan (Irish); and Daniel Craig (English).
Given that list, I think it is safe to conclude there has never been much onus placed on the idea that those playing Bond should be English. No problem there. We have had seven different Bonds, but none has had a different name and all have had with the 007 codename (not 008, 009 or whatever).
In the current film (stress that I’ve not seen it) I believe Jamaican-born actress Lashana Lynch (Nomi) takes over the 007 moniker after Bond’s retirement before surrendering it back to Craig’s character in the film. Maybe that’s an indication of things to come. Who knows?
Much nonsense (in my opinion) is being talked about who the next Bond should be. In the UK Labour Party leader Sir Kier Starmer has suggested that the next Bond should be played by a woman. I think this is political correctness gone mad and I doubt if it will prove a vote-winner. James Bond is a bloke. End of story. It’s bad enough that the current Dr Who is a woman.
I intend no misogynism in saying the above. I just don’t agree with messing around with the gender or ethnicity of characters we have all grown up with, are used to and comfortable with. If someone wants to create a new female super spy that’s 100 per cent okay with me. Make that 200 per cent. Just leave the gender of Bond alone please.
It amused me that, when Daniel Craig was asked who the new Bond should be, he suggested Liverpool football manager Jurgen Klopp. I know Craig is a Reds fan, but I hope he has his tongue firmly planted in his cheek when he said it.
Who will the next Bond be? This, of course, assumes there will be another Bond film. One can’t help feel that the storylines may be running a little thin. But, I hope this is not the end of the line.
It will come as little surprise to you that UK-based bookmakers are already accepting bets on who the next Bond actor will be.
Here, I will go through some of the front-runners on the betting site of Paddypower.
1 Richard Madden (2-1). The Scot is best known for his roles in Games of Thrones and Bodyguard.
2 Tom Hardy (3-1). This is the guy I would like to see in the role. He received an Academy Award nomination as best supporting actor for his role in The Revenant and played both Kray twins in Legend.
3 James Norton (8-1). Mainly known for his TV work, he played the leading role in McMafia.
4 Idris Elba (also 8-1). There’s a school of thought that he might be pushing on a bit for the part given he is close to 50 years old. I certainly wouldn’t rule him out. He has been in the HBO series, The Wire, and plays the lead in BBC One’s Luther.
5 Luke Evans (16-1). Welshman Evans has been a baddie in the Fast & Furious franchise and played Gaston in Beauty and the Beast.
Others listed include Lashana Lynch (mentioned earlier) who is a strong favourite with those who believe the next Bond will be female although no price is quoted for her. The outsiders also include Avengers star Tom Hiddleston (20-1); Daniel “Harry Potter” Radcliffe (25-1) oh, I do hope not; and Spiderman Tom Holland at 80-1.
Whoever gets the part, I hope the announcement will leave us stirred, not shaken!
Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that, it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.