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Daniel Craig as James Bond.

Pierce Brosnan thinks Daniel Craig is a "magnificent" James Bond.

The 59-year-old actor - who portrayed the suave spy in four movies until 2002's Die Another Day - believes his successor is the perfect choice for the character because he is so "hard" and the franchise has moved onto a different era, thanks largely to competition from the Bourne movie series.

"Bond was a glorious time for me," Brosnan said.

"I have nothing but gratitude for having played such a role.

"Daniel is magnificent. He's a very hard man. Daniel gives 150 per cent of himself to it constantly, both physically and emotionally. He's a Bond for this age and this time.

"Once I saw Matt Damon come onto the stage with The Bourne Identity, I could see that the stakes had been upped.

"My era of playing Bond was still a cross-pollination of Sean Connery and Roger Moore. They hadn't made that leap into the next phase; the huge action, and a more brutal Bond."

Despite being impressed with Daniel's portrayal of Bond, Pierce admits to feeling envious when he saw recent film Skyfall, which saw the spy's boss M meet her end, because he would have loved to shoot the moving scene with Dame Judi Dench.

He told Yahoo! movies: "I would have loved to have held her in my arms myself. I would have loved to have played that scene with her. But it was not meant to be for me. It was Daniel's moment and his time.

"Dame Judi is such a magnificent lady in every sense of the word: as a human being and as an actress. Her presence on stage and screen is so magnetic.

"Her graciousness in life is so beautiful. So there you go. Sic transit gloria mundi [Thus passes the glory of the world]."