After taking$3.6bn worldwide, 43 years, 20 films, 58 girls and 18 Martinis, James Bond hasa sixth face - English actor Daniel Craig.

The 37-year-oldactor was officially announced as the new James Bond today at a London newsconference held at HMS President, a naval training facility, on the RiverThames.

Craig arrived atthe venue on a speedboat. "it's a huge challenge and life is about challenges. It's an iconic figure in movie history and these things don't come along very often," he said.

Craig will takeon the world famous role in Casino Royale, due for worldwide release through Sony Pictures fromNovember 2006. The film is based on author Ian Fleming's first Bond title, theonly Bond book never adapted by producer Cubby Broccoli and the first filmsince 1987's The Living Daylights to be based on work originated by Fleming.

Only the secondEnglish Bond (after Roger Moore, the actor who remained in the role longestwith seven official films) Craig has been building his international profilewith lead supporting roles in films such as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and Road To Perdition (2002). He will also be seen in StevenSpielberg's Munich atthe end of this year. He has also seen critical acclaim in recent years from avariety of leads in British films including The Mother, Sylvia, EnduringLove and Layer Cake.

Director MartinCampbell will return to the Bond helm with Casino Royale for the first time since introducingPierce Brosnan to the role with 1995's Goldeneye.