English actor Daniel Craig has been chosen to replace Pierce Brosnan as the next James Bond.

Craig, who is the first blond Bond, will take on the iconic superspy when filming for Casino Royale begins in January (06).

The 37-year-old beat off competition from Clive Owen, Hugh Jackman and unknown actor Henry Cavill to star in the movie directed by MARTIN CAMPBELL - who worked with Brosnan on GoldenEye.

Craig said at today's (14OCT05) press conference in London, "It's something else. I'm speechless. I've just got to step up to the plate and deal with it.

"I had a confidence about it but then that's because of the people around me who made me feel good about it.

"I knew positively on Monday. I was in Baltimore when I took the call. My first reaction was I needed a drink."