He is the man with the Golden Gun – but James Bond star Daniel Craig proved he is also the man with golden charm as he wooed the crowds at the glittering royal premiere of the new 007 movie.
James Bond stars past and present – and several apparently desperate to be considered as part of his future – took to the red carpet last night to mark the royal premiere of the new film and 50th anniversary of the series.
Skyfall made its worldwide debut at the Royal Albert Hall in London in front of the the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and a veritable who’s who from the series’ glittering history.
But it was Craig who took centre stage as he chatted to and greeted hundreds of fans who lined the red carpet.
Craig, playing Bond for the third time, was accompanied by his actress wife Rachel Weisz, but there was no shortage of other beautiful ladies on his arm, including his Skyfall co-stars Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe.
Craig, who revealed to the Shropshire Star earlier this week he still likes to escape the limelight for a quiet pint in the county with friends and family, said of the lavish premiere: “This feels even more special than the ones that have gone before for me. I’ve never been to a premiere like this; it’s incredible.
“You just try to make the best movie you can and we’ve had some good response. Now it’s up to the audience to make their decisions about it.”
Asked about the enduring appeal of the series, he added: “Well, 50 years is a long time.
“That means they have been doing something really right, starting with the actors who have played Bond. They have all brought their own flavour to it.”
Craig was reported to be suffering from a cold, but in true stiff upper lip 007 fashion, he refused to complain.
The celebrity guests were full of praise for the movie, which opens at Shropshire cinemas on Friday.
Unlike Bond’s 40th anniversary celebration, none of the other James Bond actors made an appearance.
But there were still plenty of vintage 007 stars on display, including Sean Connery’s very first Bond girl from Doctor No in 1962, Eunice Gayson,
Christopher Lee who played The Man With The Golden Gun, and Goldfinger’s “golden girl”, Shirley Eaton.
British starlet Naomie Harris, who plays MI6 field agent Eve, and French-born beauty Berenice Marlohe who is temptress Severine, both served up a double delight, changing costumes between the premiere and the private after-show party.
Proceeds from last night’s royal gala, also attended by Judi Dench, are being donated to charities that help members of Britain’s intelligence services.