He has a licence to thrill millions of people around the world, travelling from one exotic location to the next in the name of Queen, country and box office success writes Shropshire Star film critic Carl Jones.
But when it comes to one particular kind of secret mission, James Bond star Daniel Craig likes nothing more than a low-key visit to the county of Shropshire.
The Skyfall star, 44, admitted earlier this month that a downside of the 007 role was the inability to escape the limelight for a quiet pint with friends and family without being spotted, filmed on a mobile phone, and finding his face splashed across social media.
“You talk to people in the movie business who have been doing this 40 years and they all say the difference is that, back in the day, you could go and have a drink in the bar, get drunk, fall over, have a good time, relax, whatever, and no one would know about it,” he said.
But yesterday, at the new movie’s official media launch in London’s Dorchester Hotel, Craig revealed that he still likes to lose himself in pubs like the Jack Mytton at Hindford, near Oswestry - close to where his father Tim, and several of his close friends, still live.
“I would still do that,” he revealed. “I know there’s been stuff in the press about how I’ve been bitching that I can’t go to a pub - but I still do.
"It’s just that, on a Friday night, in the middle of town, anywhere, is probably not my best place to go and be very comfortable.
“So is Shropshire a very good place to go and get away from it all?” I asked. “It is, yeah,” he replied.
Craig, who was in terrific humour during the 20-minute chat, also raised a glass to the screenwriters for bringing more humour back into the Bond series.
“I always wanted to bring the comedy back in. I love Mike Myers, but with Austin Powers he took the best Bond gags, and in a way it had gone for a while.
“But I always maintained that as long as we could get really good writing, the jokes would come. And they have in this. I’m very proud of the way they add a real lightness of touch.”
There’s also plenty in Skyfall for Craig’s female admirers. “I take my clothes off in this film more than I did in Casino Royale,” he admitted.
Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael J Wilson confirmed they had signed up Craig for a further two Bond films, with an option to do more.
Craig - who would be around 50 by the end of his fifth movie, said he was delighted. “I love playing it. It’s an honour to play it. I really get a big kick out of doing it.” But he insisted: “I won’t outstay my welcome.”
He also spoke about filming with the Queen at Buckingham Palace for the opening ceremony of the Olympics.
“I think she did fantastically. I am a big fan of Danny Boyle. He did an amazing job with the opening ceremony. I was proud to be a small part of it.
It was quite surreal to be in the palace with the Queen but Danny was being lovely, and so was she.”
Tonight the stars will be out in force for the Royal premiere of Skyfall, at the Royal Albert Hall. The film opens at Shropshire cinemas on Friday.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will join the stars at the premiere, which will benefit real members of the security services. Craig, playing Bond for the third time, will be joined on the red carpet by other members of the cast including Dame Judi Dench, who is in her seventh movie as M, chief baddie Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Bond girls Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe, and Ben Whishaw, who is the new Q.
Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes will also stride the red carpet. He said he was proud of what he had produced.
He revealed he was looking forward to seeing the movie again tonight, adding: “I have thrown everything I wanted to see in a Bond movie into this film.”
Don’t miss our Skyfall special in The Ticket on Friday, including more from Carl Jones’ interviews, and a quiz to test your 007 trivia knowledge.