Roger Moore has admitted he found the role of James Bond hard to cope with due to the character's apparent notoriety.

Speaking on the eve of the release of the new Bond film, Quantum of Solace, Moore revealed he thought the secret agent seemed too well known in the books and movies to be wholly believable as a spy.

"I knew I couldn't play Bond straight, because my theory is, 'Well, if he's a spy, then nobody should know him'," he told Empire magazine.

"But everybody knows him – all the barmen in the world! 'Ah, Mr Bond! Martini! Shaken not stirred.' That's not a spy!"

Moore played England's deadliest weapon in seven Bond films, starting with 1973's Live and Let Die and finishing his run as 007 some 12 years later in A View to a Kill.

And the 81-year-old - who was the oldest actor to play Bond, first taking on the role at 45 - revealed he had been plagued by fears of comparisons to his predecessor Sean Connery when uttering the most famous catchphrase of the fictional secret agent.

"My nightmare was that I'd say: [does a gravelly Connery] 'The name'sh Bond'," he went on.

"I was absolutely convinced I was going to say it in Scottish! So maybe that's why I said [politely]: 'The name's Bond. James Bond.' I was trying not to sound like Sean."

Quantum of Solace is released on Friday October 31st.

Empire is on sale now.

29/10/2008 01:01:01