Portsmouth's James Bond fans give their verdict on No Time To Die - and reveal their preference for the next actor to play 007

JAMES Bond fans catching one of the first screenings of No Time To Die in Port Solent say the return of 007 was worth the wait – and the movie could well be the best of the franchise.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 4:57 pm

Daniel Craig returns to play James Bond for the final time in No Time To Die, the 25th film in the 007 series.

The film’s opening in cinemas has been repeatedly delayed due to Covid restrictions – but die-hard Bond fans catching one of the first screenings in Port Solent say it lived up to high expectations.

Bond-fan Michael Norgate took the day off from work in order to be among the first to see the film at a 9am screening this morning.

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Daniel Craig, who plays James Bond, in No Time To Die. Picture: Nicole Dove

The 42-year-old from Wickham said: ‘I was hoping to see it at midnight – but I didn’t wake up.

‘It’s the best film I’ve seen this year. It was definitely worth the wait.’

Fellow cinema-goer Nathan Witt said Daniel Craig – who was recently made an honorary commander in the Royal Navy to match Bond’s rank – has ‘never been better’.

The 46-year-old from Portsmouth said: ‘It was the best send-off for Daniel Craig.

Rob Driscoll from Drayton and Nathan Witt from Portsmouth were among the first to see No Time To Die at the Port Solent Odeon.

Nathan’s partner Rob Driscoll said the film was a perfect mixture of comedy and melancholy as it said goodbye to the actor who played 007 for more than 15 years.

The 47-year-old from Drayton: ‘This is the first Bond film that made me cry.

‘And I smiled when (HMS Dragon) came up.’

The Portsmouth-based Royal Navy destroyer stars in the film, with the navy remaining tight-lipped about how much the film producers paid to have the warship feature in the film’s action sequences.

Julie Benford said she couldn't wait to see Daniel Craig play James Bond one last time. Picture: Richard Lemmer

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The film’s high-adrenaline action lay ahead for Fareham resident Julie Benford, who was returning to the cinema for the first time in two years in order to see her favourite Bond for the last time.

The 58-year-old said: ‘Daniel Craig is my favourite – he epitomises Bond. So I’m sad to see him go.’

Thinking about Craig’s replacement, she added: ‘I think it should be a woman. The actor (Jodie Comer) who was in Killing Eve – she would be very good.

‘They could do one with a woman – maybe not a serious. But it would be interesting to just see it done.’

Both Nathan and Rob agreed that previous bookies’ favourites Tom Hiddleston and Tom Hardy may be too predictable and fail to bring new life to the franchise.

Nathan added: ‘Mix it up a little bit – why not?’

And if the producers are looking for a different backdrop for 007’s next adventure, fans agreed they should visit Portsmouth.

Thinking of a good location for a Bond villain’s lair, Nathan said: ‘It’s got to be the top of the Spinnaker Tower.’

Rob added: ‘It’s too obvious. Maybe underneath somewhere – like the Tricorn car park.’

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