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15 October 2005
THE NAME'S BLAND.. JAMES BLAND
New Bond Daniel Craig's deadly dull debut
By Fiona Cummins

DANIEL Craig made his debut as the sixth James Bond yesterday - but showed none of 007's charm and charisma.

Unlike the debonair actors before him, he gave one-word answers to questions, looked uncomfortable, and chewed gum during a meeting with the world's press in London.

daniel craig

GOLDEN GUY: Daniel Craig

Asked why he should play 007, Craig, 37, from Chester, replied: "Why not?"

The actor, pictured left yesterday, is to star in the 21st Bond film - a remake of 1967 spoof Casino Royale.

_________________

NEW BOND MAKES DEADLY DEBUT
By Fiona Cummins

THE new James Bond turned into Dr Don't Know yesterday in an embarrassing first interview with the world's press.

Hours after officially landing the role as the super-smooth international spy, nervy Daniel Craig seemed more bland than Bond.

Chomping on a piece of chewie, he gave a series of boring, monosyllabic answers about his major new role.

This is how deadly dull Dan - the Man with the Golden Gum - failed on his first mission as 007...

Q: How do you feel about getting the job?
A: I can't tell you really. I'm speechless.

Q: Why do you want to play Bond?
A: Why not?

Q: Who's your ideal Bond girl?
A: I've got my ideal Bond girl.

Q: Why are you the ideal 21st century Bond?
A: I can't answer that. I don't know.

Q: What are the reasons for Bond's enduring popularity?
A: I don't know the answer to that.

Q: Are you looking forward to becoming a legend?
A: I don't know about that.

Q: What will you bring to the character?
A: I would love to give you a long convoluted answer but I don't have one.

Q: How are you going to make your James Bond different?
A: It's really difficult to answer just yet and we're going to have wait until I've done it. I want to make the best Bond I can.

Q: (Referring to yesterday's exclusive Mirror story) Who'd have thought the greatest spy's own worst enemy would be his mum who told everybody you were going to be the new James Bond. How did you react to that?
A: I'd rather not say. Hey ho.

Q: Are you going to be the first blond Bond? What kind of changes will you be making?
A: Not that many.

Q: Are you going to be dyeing your hair? It looks darker in the publicity photos.
A: It's just the lighting, that's all.

Q: So you're going to be blond?
A: I think so.

Daniel's debut was in stark contrast to Pierce Brosnan's assured performance when he was unveiled as 007 in 1994.

Brosnan confidently outlined his vision of a modern Bond - "flinty with a little more humour".

He added: "We want to peel back some layers of his character and see what demons may lie there." Sadly Daniel was a lot less forthcoming yesterday. Arriving at the London press launch in a speedboat flanked by Royal Marines, he admitted he was speechless.

And that's pretty much how he stayed.

Even a glass of champagne and a couple of dry martinis - shaken, not bothered - failed to loosen his tongue.

Daniel is currently in the headlines for a fling with his former Layer Cake co-star Sienna Miller following her betrayal by Jude Law.

Last year he had a romance with supermodel Kate Moss.

Asked whether he would prefer Miller or Moss as his Bond girl, he dodged the question by replying: "I'm not going to get into that."

Instead he named his favourite Bond girl as Diana Rigg in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. His favourite Bond actor is the original, Sean Connery.

Daniel arrived for the press conference by speeding under London's Tower Bridge to the jetty of HMS President.

He wore an immaculate suit by Brioni - the Italian tailors who also dressed Brosnan for his 007 films.

But the overall effect was slightly spoiled by the life-jacket he was forced to put on aboard the boat.

Daniel also dropped a heavy hint that he is unlikely to be doing all his own stunts when he said: "I'd like to thank the Royal Marines for bringing me in like that - and scaring the s**t out of me."

He admitted taking the world-famous role would not help him preserve the privacy he jealously guards.

He said: "I understand that doing this doesn't help but I'm not going to change my attitude. We'll take it a day at a time".

Born in Chester and raised on the Wirral, Daniel left school aged 16.

Producers spent two years looking for their new Bond and auditioned more than 200 actors - but Daniel said he was always confident he would land the coveted role.

He found out for certain on Monday while filming in the US and said his first reaction was: "I need a drink."

Apart from being the first blond Bond, he will be only the second Englishman to play the role, after Roger Moore.

He revealed he had discussed the job with Pierce - who was axed as too old after five blockbusting films. Bet that was riveting conversation, Daniel...

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