James Bond isn’t an exotic name, but such a bland moniker was exactly what 007’s creator, former naval intelligence officer and keen twitcher, Ian Fleming, wanted – so he looked on his shelf and appropriated it from the author of a book on Caribbean ornithology.

Identity theft is small fry compared with some of Bond’s exploits, whether he’s being portrayed by an Englishman, Scotsman, Irishman or Welshman. Or, for that matter, an Australian (George Lazenby, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service).

Sean Connery was the first film Bond, and thereby the brooding, brawny yardstick by which every subsequent Bond has been measured. For many years, his serious rival was Roger Moore, the suave, eyebrow-raising English gentleman, and the whole Roger vs Sean debate still rages, demonstrating that, from Dr. No to Skyfall, Bond is an institution – and ignoring the fact that, since the mid-80s, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have all donned the famous dinner jacket.

Rumour has it that Idris Elba could be the next man to flirt with Miss Moneypenny before receiving orders from M, picking up his latest gadgets from Q, and driving off in his silver Aston Martin DB5 to see off the latest set of stereotypical villains to threaten the security of this sceptred isle. But will he be too cool to crack a corny joke?

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