AS Daniel Craig prepares for his fifth and final outing as James Bond, the actor’s former drama teacher has been remembering her star pupil.

Chester-born Daniel moved to the Wirral with his mother after his parents divorced in 1972. He attended primary school in Hoylake before moving to Hilbre High School in West Kirby where he was taught by Hilary Green.

“His talent was obvious right from the start,” said Hilary. “The first time I came across him he was about 14 and auditioning for a part in Oliver! I’d only recently joined the school and I hadn’t met him before but as soon as I heard him trying out the first number, I knew that there was something really remarkable there.

“He just assumed the character - you didn’t have to tell him what this man was like, how he should sing or behave and it was just completely natural.”

Hilary would guide Daniel’s acting for three years at the Wirral comprehensive during which time he would appear in a number of productions including Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.

“I persuaded Daniel to come along to the local amateur dramatic group called the Heswall Woolgatherers,” she said. “We were doing a production of Alan Bleasdale’s No More Sitting on the Old School Bench and he took the role as the leading school boy.

“He was very good playing this truculent, awkward character but was also very charismatic. All the adults in the production were amazed - they found working with Daniel almost intimidating because he was just so real.”

After training at the National Youth Theatre and graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1991, Daniel began his career on stage, with Hilary remembering one performance in particular.

“He was in this two-hander at the Royal Court with Michael Gambon called A Number,” she said. “Daniel played three different characters and, from the moment he walked on stage, you knew he was someone different.”

Hilary, who is now retired and lives in Barnston, has gone on to concentrate on writing historical novels, mainly set in World War Two. In June next year, she is publishing her first non-fiction book about trade during the Middle Ages.

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