He's the spy that men want to be – and women want to be with.

So as Daniel Craig’s last outing as James Bond, No Time To Die, will hit cinemas on September 30, we are posing a simple question.

Can you live the life of the most famous, suave and deadly secret agent? Or, to borrow the title of another spy film, is that mission impossible?

As Daniel hangs up his Walther PPK after five Bond films, I put in my bid to take his place.

Becoming Bond can cost the best part of £300k but there is more to being the world’s top spy than wearing sharp suits and being incredibly fit, irresistible to women and able to drink vast amounts of booze.

Daniel Craig in Skyfall (

Image:

EON Productions)

For decades filmmaker Paul Kyriazi, 74, has studied the hero and has written the book How To Live The James Bond Lifestyle.

He says: “It starts in your mind, expands to your room, and then your apartment or your house. Get it organised. Get your money under control. Start carrying more cash. Bond carries cash on a money clip.”

He recommends reading a book a week, dressing well even at home, keeping your car clean, and tipping freely.

Never give up on your mission... but you can change direction. And when it comes to being a lothario, Paul says you should aim to become a “director of fun”.

But most importantly, he advises, be creative not competitive. “Don’t compete with your friends or others – get creative with yourself, and that is powerful.”

Armed with Paul’s tips it was time to Live And Let Try to become Bond. And if I failed I could always Try Another Day.

Get the Bond bod

As a man more used to brandishing a pen than a pistol, my spying skills would leave a lot to be desired.

Reeling off pithy one-liners while dispatching villains and escaping being sliced in half by a laser would not be my forté. But I reckoned I could look the part.

For my money, Daniel Craig’s tailored tux from Casino Royale is as classically Bond as a bomb disguised as a cigarette case. So I headed to Slater Menswear, which has its own tailoring collection and offers free alterations for suits and jackets for a perfect fit.

Dan Hall working out at the Fitness Lab in Soho (

Image:

©2021 Steve Bainbridge)

The service comes in handy when, during my measuring, it turns out that I have “deceptively short arms”.

Dinner suit sorted, my other physical differences from the latest buff Bond needed addressing.

An action hero’s unsculpted dad bod 50 years ago may have been alluring enough but the bar for Bond’s physicality was irreversibly raised when Daniel Craig emerged from the sea like a Greek god in trunks.

So I arranged a session at Fitness Lab in Soho, Central London, where elite trainer Ash Wright, 28, put me through a gruelling programme of weightlifting.

Dan Hall on the tarmac of Blackbushe Airfield as part of the day he spent walking in the shoes of James Bond (

Image:

©2021 Steve Bainbridge)
Dan getting into shape at the gym (

Image:

©2021 Steve Bainbridge)

Ash says: “To achieve a physique closer to Daniel Craig you’ll want to go through a ‘body recomp’ phase. This is a process of building muscle while losing fat to change your overall body composition – the ratio of muscle to fat.

“Bond should be built for go, not for show. His physique is a by-product of the training he does to fit the demands of his job, rather than for aesthetics.”

Feeling pumped (and humbled) after our session, it was time for the next stage of my mission.

The cost...

● Dinner jacket from Slater Menswear - £100 (Suit £79, shirt £15, bow tie £6).

● Fitness Lab training, from £700 for 10 sessions.

● Aston Martin DBS Superleggera from Grange Aston Martin, £280,000.

● Private plane sightseeing tour with Wingly, from £71.

● Hippodrome, free entry, but take at least £100 to have fun.

● Vodka martini at Quaglino’s - from £14 a drink.

Private planes

Bond doesn’t just drive in style – he flies in luxury, too. So I went to Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire for a private plane trip over London.

I organised the trip through Wingly – a flight-sharing site that connects passengers with private pilots for sightseeing flights and local excursions.

My 1,500ft high jaunt was in a six-seater £100,000 Piper PA-32 and provided truly spectacular views of the settings for some of Bond’s most memorable scenes.

James Bond flies in luxury (

Image:

Grab)

We took in the Millennium Dome, where Pierce Brosnan’s explosive boat chase ended in the breathless opening sequence of 1999’s The World Is Not Enough.

And we flew over Epsom Downs Racecourse, which took on the role of St Petersburg Airport in 1995’s GoldenEye.

We even spotted the Olympic Stadium where Bond and “the Queen” leaped out of a helicopter with matching Union Jack parachutes during the 2012 opening ceremony of London’s Olympics.

Dan flying over London in a private plane (

Image:

©2021 Steve Bainbridge)

The cars

I don’t have a licence to kill, but I do have a licence to drive. So I had to get behind the wheel of an Aston Martin.

007’s love affair with the British brand began with Sean Connery’s DB5 with an ejecting passenger seat in 1964’s Goldfinger.

The DB5 stars in No Time To Die, along with its modern-day equivalent: the £280,000 DBS Superleggera.

Grange Aston Martin, in Hatfield, Herts, were trusting enough to let me take theirs out for a spin. Like all good secret agents, the Superleggera is a master of disguise.

Daniel Craig stars as James Bond (

Image:

Francois Duhamel / Avalon)

It looks like a carbon fibre distillation of pure elegance and sophistication but push the sports mode trigger and it turns into a ferocious animal. Its 715bhp V12 engine is capable of 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds and accelerating up to 211mph.

If you’ve got cash left, you can spend thousands more with Aston Martin’s personalisation service, Q. Unlike MI6’s Q Branch, the service focuses on things like high-spec paint finishes rather than fitting machine guns.

Not that you need bullets to blow people away when you’re driving this car – pedestrians turn to look and take pictures when they hear the engine roaring down the road.

Dan at Brocket Hall with the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera which is used in the latest Bond film Time to Die (

Image:

©2021 Steve Bainbridge)

Casino royale

As the evening drew in, it was time to hit one of Bond’s favourite haunts – the casino.

The Hippodrome in London’s West End has three gaming floors with private rooms for high-rollers. I sit down to play a few “coups” of baccarat – the card game Bond plays in many films, beginning with 1962’s Dr. No.

Unlike my usual luck with scratchcards, it turned out I had got the gift. I transformed my £12,500-worth of chips to around £16,000.

It meant I could afford a well-deserved vodka martini in an exclusive bar. I travel to Quaglino’s in Mayfair, where head mixologist Michele Lombardi, 32, breaks down the importance of perfection when making Bond’s tipple of choice.

The writer at the baccarat table in the Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square (

Image:

©2021 Steve Bainbridge)

As well as the classic vodka version – which Michele insists should actually be stirred rather than shaken – Quaglino’s also makes Vesper martinis, the drink Bond invents in Casino Royale, and a delicious white truffle oil martini of Michele’s design.

He says: “Someone who asks for a martini knows exactly how it’s supposed to taste.

“You can’t make any mistakes. If someone asks for one of those, it’s not their first time. It’s not a cocktail you want to try – it’s something you already drink.”

James Bond and Paloma in No Time To Die (

Image:

2020 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM.)

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Bond films used to end with 007 having saved the world and got the girl, signing off with a cringeworthy pun for pillowtalk.

So as I left the bar, I asked a beautiful woman if she had any double entendres I could use. Guess what? She gave me one.

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