Daniel Craig: Our Friend In The North

JAMES Bond star Daniel Craig’s nomination for best actor at next month’s Bafta Film Awards reminded me of a previous role far from 007.
It’s the first nomination for an actor playing Bond. But those in the know say it’s not just based on his brilliant performance in Casino Royale.
It’s said to be recognition for some of Chester-born Daniel’s previous parts in films such as Layer Cake, Enduring Love and Sylvia.
Older readers may also remember his role in a 1996 Bafta award-winning production, which remains one of the best TV drama series ever screened.

Our Friends In The North was the BBC2 saga of four young people in north east England from 1964 to 1995.
It also has the distinction of having paired Doctor Who and James Bond on screen, in the shape of Salford’s Christopher Eccleston and a younger Mr Craig (pictured together below right).
Daniel played “Geordie” Peacock in the epic tale set against the backdrop of political history, including police and local council corruption in the sixties and the rise of Thatcherism.

As you can see, he looked very different to today’s suave Bond image. At one stage in the story Geordie ended up destitute in London.
Co-starring Gina McKee and Mark Strong (with Daniel in top picture), the series came to a memorable conclusion with the Oasis track Don’t Look Back In Anger.
If you haven’t seen it – or want to enjoy it all over again – Our Friends In The North is available on DVD and comes highly recommended.

*And talking of looking back, I popped into the Design Museum in London yesterday for another look at their Designing Modern Britain exhibition.
It includes exhibits related to Manchester’s Hacienda in the 1980s, as well as New Order and Factory Records.
Once to be found in London’s Haymarket, the Design Museum is now located in Shad Thames, one of my favourite places in the capital, next to Tower Bridge.
Charles Dickens set part of his novel Oliver Twist nearby and scenes in the 1968 film were filmed there.
It’s also been the location for many other movies, including Bridget Jones’s Diary and A Fish Called Wanda.
Our Friends In The North
Design Museum
Shad Thames / Butlers Wharf