10 things you probably never knew about James Bond

Daniel Craig has confirmed he will return for his fifth James Bond film.

Remember he said he would "rather slash (his) wrists" than play 007 again?

You do? Well how about these 10 more obscure Bond-related facts...

  • 1. He is called James Bond because it the least thrilling name Ian Fleming could imagine

Ian Fleming imagined James Bond as a 'blunt instrument'. Credit: PA

"I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could find," the author once explained.

"Exotic things would happen to and around him, but he would be a neutral figure - an anonymous, blunt instrument wielded by a government department."

Fleming found inspiration by taking the prosaic name from the author of a book on the Birds of the West Indies.

  • 2. The first actor to play the spy was an American

Barry Nelson, who died in 2007, earned his niche place in James Bond history. Credit: AP

Barry Nelson performed the part - as US native Jimmy Bond - in a live one-hour TV show of Fleming's first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1954.

It would be eight years before Sean Connery delivered the first (and far more famous) film portrayal of the British secret agent.

  • 3. That's not Sean Connery in the iconic pre-title sequence

Always thought Connery showed his command of the role from the moment he walks on and fires at the camera in the legendary gun barrel pre-title sequence in 1962's Dr No?

Think again. It's stuntman Bob Simmons who delivers the iconic shot in hat and suit. Connery only performed it from his fourth outing, 1965's Thunderball.

  • 4. A Thunderball stuntman risked his life for a big payday

Sean Connery was not put at risk for the death-defying stunts in Thunderball. Credit: PA

On the topic of impressive stuntmen, the fearless Bill Cummings once earned a $450 bonus (worth around £2,700 in today's money) for jumping into a swimming pool on camera during the filming of Thunderball.

The cash incentive was because it was filled with sharks.

(Sir Roger Moore was also well paid for fighting Jaws).

  • 5. The womanising Bond is a widower

Diana Rigg and George Lazenby wed on screen but were reportedly less friendly off it. Credit: PA

It may be known but is more often forgotten that Bond marries the daughter of crime boss Marc-Ange Draco, Teresa 'Tracy' Draco, in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

He is left to mourn her in the subsequent films as she is killed in a drive-by shooting hours after the nuptials by Bond's nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Irma Bunt.

Already knew that? Well then did you know the wedding dress Diana Rigg wore in the 1969 film is now in a collection of Bond items at a hotel in Milan, along with memorabilia from Fleming's other fiction-turned-film smash hit Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang?

  • 6. 007 was once 57

Sir Roger Moore was the oldest on screen Bond. Credit: PA

The late Sir Roger Moore was closing in on his pension when he made his seventh and final appearance as Bond in 1985's A View To A Kill, some 12 years after he first performed the role in 1973's Live And Let Die.

In fact, he had turned 58 by the time he confirmed he was rescinding his screen licence to kill in December 1985.

The youngest Bond? Australian George Lazenby was 29 when he made On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Timothy Dalton was in his mid-20s when he was first approached though turned the role down. He made his series debut at 41.

  • 7. Timothy Dalton was set to make a third Bond film

Timothy Dalton made two appearances as Bond in between Sir Roger Moore's seven and Pierce Brosnan's four outings. Credit: PA

The two-time Bond's contract tied him to another movie after 1987's The Living Daylights and 1989's Licence To Kill.

But a legal dispute over the series rights scuppered plans for the 1991 release, which was due to be set in London, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Dalton's contract had expired by the time the legal battle ended and the Welshman decided not to renew it.

  • 8. Goldeneye had some famous residents

Bob Marley, seen in 1976, briefly owned a rich piece of Bond history. Credit: PA

Even casual Bond fans are often aware that Pierce Brosnan's debut outing, 1995's Goldeneye, was named after Ian Fleming's Jamaican estate where the novels were penned.

But did you know British PM Sir Anthony Eden and his wife stayed at the property as Fleming's guests to recuperate after 1956's Suez Crisis?

Or that it was sold to Bob Marley in 1976? The reggae legend sold it a year later.

  • 9. Daniel Craig is the most bankable Bond (even after inflation)

Daniel Craig's secret on screen service for Her Majesty has proven box office gold. Credit: PA

Too short? Too blond? Too tough? Craig was tipped by many to flop when he was confirmed as the series' sixth 007.

He answered his critics with a 2006 debut Casino Royale that became the highest grossing film yet.

But it was 2012's Skyfall that has become the top earner, even after adjusting for inflation, ahead of Thunderball and Goldfinger.

  • 10. Only two Bond songs have won an Oscar

A James Bond film is yet to be nominated for the Academy Award for best picture. Credit: PA

Bond title songs are an indelible part of the series but which earned the awards glory?

Shirley Bassey's lung-busting Goldfinger? Paul McCartney and Wings' jaunty Live And Let Die? Or the iconic guitar-twanging James Bond Theme that debuted in Dr No?

None of the above.

The Academy Award winners are the two most recent; Adele's Skyfall and Sam Smith's Writing's On The Wall (from Spectre).