WATERCOOLER: James Bond will survive without Daniel Craig
I'M not sure how I feel about the news this week that Daniel Craig has retired as James Bond 007.
To be honest, it wasn't unexpected as it's been clear that Craig has come to despise the role that made him one of the most famous faces on the planet.
But to turn down a $137 million offer (I'll say that again so it sinks in, as I do my Dr Evil pose…..one hundred and thirty seven MILLION dollars…), to do two more films just shows how far he's willing to go to avoid James Bond.
I love everything Bond. In fact those who know me have found out the hard way to never challenge me to the James Bond edition of Trivial Pursuit.
It's been a four-decade obsession, as my long suffering wife will argue every time she goes down to the rumpus room…or as I call it, my 'Bond Shrine'.
WHICH ACTOR PLAYED THE BEST JAMES BOND?
Let us know in the comments below.
It all began back in 1974. Back in those days (boy, do I sound old now using that term) cinemas used to show things called 'Double features' (ask your mum and dad what that is kids), and as a six year old my dad took me to the pictures.
Of course, we had to sit on the left hand side of the cinema which was the 'non-smoking' side. Oh, how times have changed. Seriously, I'm not making this up.
To celebrate the new James Bond, my dad took me to see Dr No followed by Live and Let Die - the first Bond films for Sean Connery and Roger Moore. That night, my life changed. I'd never seen anything like it, and so began a lifelong obsession with agent 007. I'd never seen evil, heroism and action like it.
Sean Connery was mesmerising in that 1962 classic. Or should I say: "Meshmerishing Mishter Connery"?
Who is the best James Bond of all time?
This poll ended on 31 December 2017.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
By age 16 I'd bought and read every single one of Ian Fleming's original novels, and to this day they remain some of my favourite books, along with the whole series of John Gardner novels that ran through the 90's and noughties.
I even once auditioned for 'The Einstein Factor' with my chosen subject of the Bond movies. As has happened to me three times now, I passed the auditions only to see the show axed a month later. *shakes fist at TV* Oh well, such is life.
With Skyfall and Spectre breaking all records, Craig has left Bond in a healthy state.
So who will be the next Bond? The bookies are no longer taking bets on Brit actor Tom Hiddleston getting the role.
There's a drama series called 'The Night Manager' that recently screened in the UK that had fans across the world demanding he play the role.
Of course, the likes of Tom Hardy, Idris Elba and Hugh Jackman will be tossed up as usual, but it seems Hiddleston is the clear favourite, particularly as there are reports that this week he's already met with Sam Mendes and Barbara Broccoli, the next movie's director and producer. Sounds like he's a shoe-in.
So the whole purpose of this piece? I want to settle an age old argument.
Who was the best Bond?
It's a discussion that has taken place in pubs, lounge rooms and dinner tables for decades, and I'm about to settle this once and for all. Truth is, they all are, because they were all perfect for their time.
Sean Connery represented the suave, sophisticated cold-war 1960s. Roger Moore took a lighter side to the role, in the 1970s dominated by Carry On, Benny Hill and politically incorrect comedians.
Timothy Dalton was right for the serious early 90s as yuppies realised they had to actually work for a living. Pierce Brosnan was the right choice at a time when the series needed a boost, despite the bad fashion.
Then came Daniel Craig who took the series to the stratosphere. He was handsome, while at the same time dangerous (something Sean Connery was the master at) and he brought a physicality to the role that audiences wanted at a time when we wanted a hero to cheer once again as that same year dished out Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and Superman Returns. So to say that one Bond was better than the other is like saying fashion in 1965 was better than in 1995. It's all a matter of your own taste.
So as we bid farewell to Daniel Craig, we close the door on Bond's most successful era. Is the character still relevant in 2016? Maybe not, but it's hard to argue that the Bond movies have never failed to deliver.
Whoever gets the nod as the new Bond certainly has big shoes to fill, and in the words of Ernst Stavro Blofeld in 'You Only Live Twice', it's "Goodbye. Mister. Bond."