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Daniel Craig’s Welsh links revealed

THE slot machines that fill the amusement arcades of Llandudno’s promenade would probably jar in the sumptuous surroundings of the Casino Royale.

And the car parks of Colwyn Bay are a touch light on gadget- laden Aston Martin DB7s.

But tourism chiefs in North Wales are planning to claim the latest James Bond as a local hero – after discovering a series of threads linking 007’s actor Daniel Craig’s family with the area.

While Bond’s silky tones are understandably completely devoid of any semblance of a Welsh twang, that may not always have been the case for the family of the man now playing him.

The grandfather of Craig, currently playing 007 in Quantum of Solace, was William John Gartland Craig, a grocer and a World War II lieutenant-colonel who lived in Colwyn Bay.

And Craig’s paternal grandmother, Rosalinde Craig, came from Llandudno.

Daniel’s mother Carol also has Welsh origins, with her father Olwyn Williams having been an innkeeper whose family were from the Flintshire area.

Daniel Craig, however, was born in Chester and grew up in the Wirral, Merseyside.

Despite that, the North Wales Tourism Partnership hopes to include the Bond star on its “movie map” showing film locations and spots where famous Welsh actors live or come from.

Dewi Davies, North Wales Tourism Partnership regional strategy director, said: “We are delighted to learn that Daniel has North Wales roots.

“It is also worth remembering that two classic Bond movies were shot in Snowdonia: From Russia with Love and The World is Not Enough.

“Hopefully, Daniel will come and film a new Bond movie in our area soon, so we can feature him on our movie map.”

Genealogist Derek Skepper, who looked closely into Daniel Craig’s past before the launch of Quantum of Solace, said: “It is clear that there is a strong Welsh element in his ancestors.

“The surname Craig is not typically Welsh and it seems that has come from his paternal grandfather who originated from Suffolk.

“I found that his grandfather William John Gartland Craig was English and worked as a grocer in Ongar, Suffolk.

“He married Welsh-born Rosalinde Jones in Stutton, Suffolk, in August 1936, and they later moved to North Wales.

“Their son Timothy Craig – Daniel’s father – was born at a maternity home in Colwyn Bay.

“His maternal grandfather has the very Welsh name Olwyn Williams and he too came from Wales before he ended up running an inn in Chester.”

Daniel’s father was brought up in a cottage, now known as Hafod-y-Gan, in Gronant, near Prestatyn.

Its current owner, Philip Crow, knew nothing about the part the building played in the Craig family until recently.

Philip, 44, said: “I always thought that Daniel Craig had the look of a Welshman but it is very surprising to hear his family used to live in our house. We had no idea that his grandparents lived here at the time that Daniel’s father Timothy was born.

“If Daniel ever wanted to come back for a visit and take a look around the old place, he would be very welcome.”

Wales has strong links to the Bond movie franchise.

Timothy Dalton (who played Bond in Licence To Kill and The Living Daylights) was born in Colwyn Bay.

One of the series’ best-loved characters was Q, played by Desmond Llewelyn from Newport, who died in a car crash in 1999.

He played the “gadgetmaster” 17 times and at his memorial service in London in 2000 stars such as Roger Moore, Christopher Lee and Samantha Bond, who played Moneypenny for many years, sang Ar hyd y Nos and Sospan Fach.

Cardiff’s Shirley Bassey sang the theme to Goldfinger and also the theme tunes for Diamonds are Forever and Moonraker, while Tom Jones was the unmistakable voice behind Thunderball.

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