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  1. ITV Report

Daniel Craig has secured 007's place in a great year for Britain

James Bond actor Daniel Craig Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Bond people can't have planned it this way but the enforced year long delay for the release of Skyfall has simply served to whet the appetite.

So arriving at London's swanky Dorchester Hotel today to meet the cast, I was joined by more reporters than I've ever encountered at a junket!

Daniel Craig has succeeded in making the release of a new Bond film a serious event. He was instrumental in getting his friend Sam Mendes to direct the new film.

Incredibly, Mendes has never made a film in Britain. The Oscar-winning director is adored in Hollywood but as a lifelong fan of the Bond franchise - Roger Moore was his first Bond crush - he couldn't resist the idea when Craig approached him.

The only way I could concentrate on making a great film, he told me, was to shut out all the stuff about the 50th anniversary of the franchise. I never realised it was such a big deal until afterwards, he said. Well he must have been the only person around who didn't know 007 was celebrating a special birthday!

Daniel Craig (L) and Sam Mendes Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Daniel Craig himself was actually quite relaxed in front of us media types today. He can be somewhat reticent, but with the film getting rave reviews he even joked a bit. That's what talk of it being the best Bond ever can do for an actor who takes himself and his craft very seriously.

This film, he said, was special because it featured so much of London:

And of being asked to share the screen with the Queen for the Olympic Opening Ceremony - he said he simply could not refuse.

He hasn't watched the now-famous scene of him escorting her Majesty to the Games since it was broadcast on the night, but he realises what an impact it has had.

With that appearance and the rave reviews for the film, he has secured 007's place in an astonishing year for Great Britain.

Craig has committed to at least two more Bond films, so it will be interesting to see if he can persuade Mendes to do the same.

One of the cast members I interviewed today is already a veteran compared to both of them. Dame Judi Dench has played 'M' - the boss of MI6 - seven times. So if ever evidence was needed of the staying power of the Bond brand, she can supply it.

On a visit to America she told me she was asked if, apart from playing Mrs Brown and M, she has ever done anything else.

In the world of Bond followers, nothing else really matters.