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Piccadilly Pulse: Manchester is shaken and stirred as answer comes in to… Who is the best James Bond?

By Rob Lowson

Bond…. James Bond.

The unmistakable introductory line from surely one of the most iconic characters in film history. And as part of the official Eon productions, only six actors have ever uttered those famous words.

As ‘Skyfall’, the 23rd film in the series and the third to star current incumbent Daniel Craig, hits UK cinemas nationwide today, MM took to the Manchester streets to ask in this, the 50th year of Bond, just who is the greatest ever 007?

Connoisseurs of the character depicted in Ian Fleming’s 1950’s novels may have gone for the original Bond Sir Sean Connery, who played the role with a refreshing charm and menace for a relatively unknown actor back in the early 1960’s.

Sir Roger Moore defined Bond in the 1970’s and 1980’s with a light, sophisticated style (not forgetting some truly legendary eyebrow work), and could have been another popular choice.

Others may have preferred the smoothness of Pierce Brosnan, the ruthlessness of Timothy Dalton, or the quirky one-off performance by Australian George Lazenby.

Or has Daniel Craig been rewarded for launching the world’s most famous secret agent into the 21st century with a place at the top of the poll?

MM took to the streets of Manchester to ask:

Who is the best James Bond?

 

Actor

Result

Sir Sean Connery

35%

George Lazenby

0%

Sir Roger Moore

13%

Timothy Dalton

3%

Pierce Brosnan

11%

Daniel Craig

38%

 

So a narrow victory for Daniel Craig, with fans appreciating his passionate yet vulnerable Bond, a portrayal that has successfully re-booted the franchise since ‘Casino Royale’ in 2006.

Here are some of the comments made by the Piccadilly public:

Rob Fenwick, a Manchester 21-year-old said: “Daniel Craig. He’s made James Bond modern and brought him right up-to-date.”

Rachel, a 21 year-old student, agreed and said: “Daniel Craig is pretty fit, I’ll go with him.”

However Jake Harrison, a 27 year-old from Leeds, said: “It has got to be Connery. The original and best.”

Jay Chavda, 35, from Bury, said: “I’ll say Roger Moore. He knew what he was doing. He was wise and confident in the role. He was king of the double-entendre.”

Richard and Cheryl Harrison, a couple visiting the city, said: “I’d go for Roger Moore. His films were the ones I grew up with. She would say Connery, she fancies him!”

Katy, a 27 year-old from Liverpool, pledged her support for Pierce Brosnan. She said: “I thought he was good, although he was slightly cheesier than the rest, but I think that was the films he was in.”

Many people struggled to choose between the Bond of the 60’s and his modern counterpart, and Sophie Craggs, a 24 year-old Manchester nurse, said: “It’s a difficult choice between Connery and Craig. But I’ll go for Sean, he was just so cool.”

Helen from Bolton shared her dilemma: “I love Connery, but Craig would have to be my favourite. He’s got an amazing physique. I was disappointed with the last one (Quantum of Solace) as it was quite PC, but I’ve heard this new one has got quite a bit of grit in it.

“It’s difficult to say though, because they’re all so different, they all kind of fit their era.”

Kathy and Laura, a Mother and Daughter from Manchester, were also torn between 21st century and classic 007 and said: “Sean Connery was great in his time, but I prefer the grittier Bond of today. It would have to be Craig.”

Tom, 28, who lives in Manchester city centre, was a real Bond aficionado and summed things up pretty well.

He said: “Ah, I love all of them! You can’t beat Connery as the original, but I also love Roger Moore, he epitomised the classic 70’s Bond. People don’t rate Dalton, but I thought he was good, a lot like the books. Brosnan was good too, and Craig is obviously massively popular now. Just don’t mention George Lazenby!”

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