There have been a total of 27 films starring Agent 007, with seven actors playing the dream role so far – Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig .
It was Scotsman Sean Connery who was the first Bond, first playing the British spy in Dr No in 1962.
In the six decades since, the films have remained hugely popular, as have the theme songs which are traditionally played in full over lush opening credits.
Many famous voices have taken their turn singing a Bond theme, from Tom Jones and Louis Armstrong in earlier films, to Billie Eilish and Madonna in recent years.
As for the British record-buying public, they received a decidedly mixed reaction, with the heavy hitters missing out on a spot in the top 10, including Shirley Bassey’s three memorable efforts – Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever and Moonraker.
And Lulu’s The Man With The Golden Gun failed to even make the top 40 when it was released in 1975.
Others have had much more success climbing the charts – here are the 10 with the highest positions according to the official UK charts.
1. Sam Smith: Spectrum
It’s a remarkable fact that the first artist to hit number one with a Bond theme was Britain’s Sam Smith in 2015. His song “Writing’s On The Wall” was the theme for Daniel Craig’s Specter and spent 17 weeks in the top 40.
Photo: John Phillips
2. Billie Eilish
The world didn’t have to wait long for a second Bond number one – Billie Eilish repeated the trick in 2020 for her titular theme song for No Time To Die. The film was the last to feature Daniel Craig and the song remained in the top 40 for 12 weeks.
Pictured: Billie Eilish: No Time to Die
3. Duran Duran: A View to Kill
Led by frontman Simon Le Bon, Duran Duran were one of Britain’s biggest bands when they released A View to a Kill in 1985. Accompanied by a memorable video spoofing the James Bond film of the same name , it was only kept off the top spot by Paul Hardcastle’s huge hit “19”.
Photo: Hulton Archives
4. Adele: Skyfall
Adele probably isn’t too concerned about hitting number two with Skyfall in 2012 – after picking up an Oscar and Golden Globe for the song. It was Swedish House Mafia’s distinctly disappointing “Don’t You Worry Child” that kept it from reaching No. 1.
Photo: Kevin Winter