If you haven't already noticed the numerous press releases, the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, is out in cinemas next month. In celebration of the 23rd installment in the longest running spy franchise, I want to share with you my experiences with 007 and what makes me get all shaken and stirred about him.
So, who is my James Bond?
That's an easy question for me to answer, but whether I would feel no shame in answering it, that's a different matter. To me, Pierce Brosnan is the Bond I grew up and loved. He's suave, good-looking, witty and agile, which is everything I expect a Bond to be. I never expected Bond to be this youthful, leaping gazelle, he's a British man after all, I can barely get my man to stand up for the national anthem these days.
Saying that, I'm hardly against Daniel Craig as Bond, who would be after the emerging-from-the-sea-in-Speedos scene from Casino Royale? The only flaw I find in Craig's performance is his lack of humour and wit.
However, in my family, Roger Moore was unquestionably Bond. I admit even now it's a close call between Moore and Brosnan in my mind. Roger Moore is everything Bond should be, and his movies would have me in stitches, especially the camaraderie with Jaws. Moore was fantastic but the first Bond movie I saw was with Pierce Brosnan and he kind of stuck with me.
I hate to say this because Sean Connery is a god among mortals, but I never really warmed to him as Bond, he had the suave, charismatic factor but not quite the agility that intense MI5 work entails. Plus I can't watch him without getting dishtracted by hish acshent.
Now here comes another unpopular opinion - does anyone remember Tim Dalton? The Living Daylights was a fantastic movie and I can't see Tim Dalton as anyone other than Bond, watching Hot Fuzz is an out-of-body experience for me, I hate seeing him portraying bad guys.
My favourite Bond movie?
Contrary to my favourite Bond actor, my favourite movie by far is Casino Royale. I'm a big casino geek and I love poker, and I think Casino Royale is the only Bond I can watch from beginning to end and follow every single branch of the storyline. I tend to drift off in heavily thought-out movies that require 900% of my attention, but Casino Royale is just perfect. The relationship with Vesper is beautiful, and the soundtrack is one of the most moving I've ever heard, if you don't believe me, listen to the track entitled 'Vesper', it's so powerful.
My favourite Bond theme?
While Live And Let Die recently won a poll for the best Bond song, for me, it's not quite that simple. I'm drawn between Die Another Day and You Know My Name. I went out and bought the single for Casino Royale's theme by Chris Cornell, and I've loved it ever since. It's the notes he hits in the chorus, they do say that a man that can hit falsetto notes is more attractive to women.
But the reason I'm torn with Die Another Day is purely because I don't want to admit I whole-heartedly adore a Madonna song. It's everything we've come to expect a Bond song to be - adventurous, full of energy, menacing, powerful, and somewhat auto-tuned.
A debate regarding the best Bond theme would be blasphemous without a reference to a classic. I don't have a particular favourite because I love every single one, except For Your Eyes Only, The Man With The Golden Gun and The World Is Not Enough. Highlights would have to include Goldeneye, Nobody Does It Better and Moonraker.
My favourite James Bond gadget?
I saw the Bond exhibition at Beaulieu Motor Museum when I was younger, and I loved being surrounded by Oddjob's hat, Jaws' dentures and even the BMW that was split in two by a helicopter's circular saws in The World Is Not Enough.
However, these aren't Bond's gadgets, I just wanted to show you the car. Anyone in their right mind would choose the Aston Martin Vanish from Die Another Day, purely because it's an Aston and it's invisible.
Of course, a mention of Bond gadgets would be pointless without the infamous parachute from The Spy Who Loved Me.
You just don't get much more Bond than this, British and proud of it.
My favourite Bond villain?
Does it make me a bad person to have a favourite villain? I've loved Christopher Walken as an actor ever since Sleepy Hollow, but Max Zorin in A View To A Kill is a great villain, he's one of the sophisticated baddies that we all love to hate, plus he meets a great comical end off the Golden Gate Bridge!
However, I spent an obscene amount of my time playing the Everything Or Nothing video game, and Nikolai Diavolo remains my ultimate favourite bad guy. Conquering the world through a base in Russia, sounds familiar right? Consume the world's resources using metal-hungry nanobots, not so familiar, but cunning and genius nonetheless. Willem Dafoe's voice is menacing and because of Spider-Man, he's also my favourite villain actor.
I'd love to know your favourite things about Bond too!