Former JAMES BOND star Pierce Brosnan has written a letter to fans of the superspy, thanking them for their support.

After the success of 2002's Die Another Day, the 51-year-old star was asked to play the suave secret agent for the fifth time - but film bosses unexpectedly changed their minds and dropped him from the role without explanation.

Despite his initial shock and disappointment, the Irish actor now insists he respects the decision and has personally thanked his loyal fans in a letter posted on his website.

He says, "I would like to thank all of you who have supported me over the last year or so in regard to my playing Bond.

"It was a decade of my life that I will always hold dear to my heart and a time that will never be forgotten.

"But everything comes to an end, and one must accept this decision which cannot be dealt with in any other way but with some kind of grace and knowledge that I did the job to the best of my ability."

Speculation still surrounds the identity of the replacement 007, although Ewan McGregor, Clive Owen and Jude Law have all been named as potential successors.

03/02/2005 21:24