James Bond, the fictional British Secret Service agent that has featured in 12 novels and two short-story collections by Ian Fleming, an additional eight novels by other authors and transformed to the silver screen in soon-to-be 25 movies. Played by Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig over the years. There’s plenty of debate on who the best Bond is and why. Everyone has their favourite Bond. It’s normally the one that you saw the first, or watched the most in your early years, but some people have definitely switched allegiances along the way. I’ve always been firmly in one camp though. And that’s the Sean Connery camp. Here’s why.

1. He’s the original 007
Well, he’s the first true film Bond anyway. I believe Barry Nelson portrayed the character in a TV adaptation of Casino Royale in 1954 and Bob Holness played him in a radio play in 1956. But from 1962’s Dr. No to 1967’s You Only Live Twice, Connery defined the role on the big screen. From his first appearance he laid the foundations with his looks, charisma and sophistication. How could we forget the beginning of the first movie, where we see Connery as Bond playing Chemin-de-Fer alongside the first female character of the franchise, Sylvia Trench. Connery then delivers one of the most memorable and recounted lines, introducing himself as “Bond… James Bond” whilst cooly lighting a cigarette. In fact, Connery was so integral to the role, that after George Lazenby’s one-and-only appearance (deemed a flop in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, although actually a great film), he was brought back for his starring role in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, to feature in what became his final film for Eon Productions. Every Bond actor since has had large shoes to fill and with Craig as Bond number six, there are plenty of other actors and films to make comparisons between. Many like Roger Moore’s suaveness and eyebrow raising comedy. Others like Daniel Craig’s pouting or Brosnan’s… running?

2. He was the best all rounder
Connery’s Bond really did have it all. He had the looks, the charm and the physicality. He is probably the biggest and strongest of the bonds up until Daniel Craig, but he has a swagger and grace that Craig just can’t quite match.

3. He has crazy mad casino skills
Okay so Daniel Craig’s Bond’s poker abilities were highlighted in Casino Royale (2006), but it really wasn’t an accurate representation of the favoured casino card game. I mean, what are the chances of a Straight Flush final hand with all that money at stake? Connery’s Bond played every casino game under the sun and proved successful in them all. Kudos to him. But what sets Sean Connery apart here is his real-life abilities and his well-known Roulette story. If you haven’t heard it before – basically Connery stepped into a casino in Italy in 1963 and put a bet on 17. The first time it didn’t come in, but he stuck by his wager and proceeded to put a second bet on. This time it came in and he carried on riding the winning streak – for another two spins, all on no. 17! At that point, he believed his luck was up and took home a hefty profit. He out James Bond-ed James Bond! If you think you’re as cool as Bond, or can emulate his feat, you can always try to play online roulette.

4. He drove the best car
There are some fantastic Bond cars of course, including the underwater Lotus Espirit and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. In my opinion, however, the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger is the best and most iconic James Bond car. “Ejector seat? You’re joking”.

5. He is Scottish
Perhaps this one is more from the heart, but being a Scot myself, an extra reason I liked Sean Connery was that he was Scottish. It did fit the role too as apparently Bond’s father was Scottish and Bond went to a school in Scotland from the ages of about 12-16.

6. He is easy to impersonate
Some people are able to do the Roger Moore eyebrow raise, but when you think about a James Bond impersonation you normally do Sean Connery saying “Miss Moneypenny” or something like that. That has also helped to establish Connery as the most iconic and memorable actor when you think of James Bond.

7. He regularly tops ‘Best Bond’ and ‘Best Bond Moments’ lists
Not only does Connery normally come top of Best Bond lists but his Dr No introduction “Bond, James Bond” often tops list of the best Bond moments of all time. That says so much that his first introduction on screen was so powerful to stay with audiences for all these years. Definitely the best Bond in my books.

What do you think? Who is your favourite Bond of all-time?