Bond author Anthony Horowitz says he ‘always hears Sean Connery and sees Daniel Craig’ when writing as he defends 007’s ‘moral code’

Horowitz is currently the Fleming estate’s approved author, but says he’s now finished with Bond (Picture: Rex)

Author Anthony Horowitz has said he is ‘perfectly happy to defend Bond’, adding that the fictional character is a man of the ‘50s and 60s’ who lives by a ‘different moral code’.

He also made the revelation that when writing his Ian Fleming estate-approved James Bond novels, he ‘hears Sean Connery and sees Daniel Craig’ – likely something many of his readers experience too.

Connery was the first actor to portray the suave MI6 agent in seven films, starting with 1962’s Dr No and including 1983’s ‘unofficial’ Never Say Never Again.

He was followed by George Lazenby, Sir Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and then Craig.

Fans often list Connery and Craig as their favourite versions of 007.

Horowitz, creator of fictional teenage spy Alex Rider, has written three James Bond novels – the most recent of which was published in May this year.

Like Horowitz, it’s hard to get Connery’s dulcet tones from your head (Picture: Danjaq/Eon/Ua/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

Daniel Craig has since made the role his own in five movies, the last of which, No Time To Die, came out last year (Picture: MGM/Eon/Danjaq/UPI/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

But the author, 67, who was made a CBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours list where he was recognised for services to literature, said the latest title, With A Mind To Kill, will be his last one for the franchise.

He told the PA news agency: ‘When I’m writing the books, I always hear Sean Connery and see Daniel Craig.

‘I am perfectly happy to defend Bond. He’s a man of the 50s and 60s, so he lives by a different moral code to the one we have now.

‘I refute the suggestion that he is chauvinistic or sexist or misogynistic.

‘I think he treats women very well in the books and has great respect for them, yet I admit he has some of the attitudes that we now would not celebrate in the 21st century, but that’s because the books were written in the 20th century.

‘It was a different time,’ he added.

Horowitz said he was ‘perfectly happy to defend Bond’ and his behaviour (Picture: Nicola Dove/Danjaq, LLC/MGM/PA)

Actor Craig, 54, delivered his final performance as the British Secret Service agent in No Time To Die last year, with his successor not yet named.

Horowitz was commissioned by the estate of 007 creator Ian Fleming to produce a number of James Bond novels.

His first, Trigger Mortis, was released in 2015 and following its success he was asked to produce another, a prequel to Casino Royale called Forever And A Day in 2018, which was followed by this year’s May publication of With A Mind To Kill.

‘I’ve finished with Bond now. I’ve done three: Trigger Mortis, which was middle career; Forever And A Day was start career, and the new one, With A Mind To Kill, is end career, so I feel that’s a very nice book-ended trilogy,’ he said.

The author is also well known for his young adult fiction and has written for film, television and stage during a career spanning decades.

The writer is also responsible for the teen spy novel series about Alex Rider, as well as TV classics including Foyle’s War (Picture: Getty)

One of his most successful works is the 12-part Alex Rider novel series, featuring the eponymous teenager who is unwittingly dragged into the world of international espionage.

The series’ first novel Stormbreaker was adapted into a film in 2006, starring Alex Pettyfer, and an Amazon Prime Video special aired in 2020.

He is currently promoting his 56th book, The Twist Of A Knife, a locked room mystery and fourth in the Hawthorne and Horowitz series, in which Horowitz appears as himself, accused of murdering a theatre critic who gives his new play, Mindgames (which was actually a play that he wrote), a bad review.

His extensive list of credits also includes being commissioned by the Conan Doyle estate to pen two Sherlock Holmes novels, The House Of Silk and sequel Moriarty, which were published in 2011 and 2014 respectively.

The first Alex Rider book, Stormbreaker, received its second screen adaptation from Prime in 2020 (Picture: Amazon Prime Video)

He is also responsible for creating and writing several well-known British television series including Foyle’s War and Midsomer Murders.

Horowitz is heartened that the books he wrote 35 years ago are still in print, so feels that had there been any offensive content in them, somebody would have told him.

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‘There are very few things I regret – maybe odd things like making fun of vegetarians, which I did 30-something years ago,’ he mused, adding: ‘Now I barely eat meat myself.

‘Your attitudes do change, but because I’ve always focused on entertaining people rather than trying to upset them, there’s nothing in my books I regret.’

The Twist Of A Knife by Anthony Horowitz is published by Century and available now.

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