WIRRAL'S James Bond film star Daniel Craig paid a surprise visit to British troops stationed at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.
The 007 actor and former Hilbre High School and Calday Grange Grammar School pupil joined 800 soldiers, sailors and airmen at the base in Helmand Province as they prepared to watch the latest instalment in the spy series, Skyfall.
Chester-born Craig, 44, went on a "morale-boosting" tour of the camp and saw soldiers train before they deploy to forward operating bases.
The visit saw him call in on patients and medical staff at the camp’s state-of-the-art Bastion Role 3 Hospital and go for a spin in the newly-introduced Foxhound armoured vehicle.
But, in true Bond fashion, Craig was not phased by the Forces’ latest hi-tech gadget, which is designed to protect troops as they patrol the war-torn country’s perilous roads.
Force Master Driver Rob Ingham, who gave Craig a demonstration of the Foxhound’s capabilities, said: "We get quite a lot of visitors here, but having James Bond was special.
"He seemed to be pretty comfortable in the driving seat."
On a final stop, the actor was taught techniques used by Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and Search Task Force teams to search for roadside bombs.
Squadron Sergeant Major Paul Ward said: "His interest in the work of the EOD and Search Task Force is really appreciated.
"Our training is critical to keeping Afghans and our own soldiers safe."
After watching Skyfall, troops seemed to agree with critics and fans that it was among the best Bonds ever.
Royal Air Force Sergeant Dave Hammond said: "It was like a return to the old James Bonds.
"There was a bit of humour and some spectacular effects."