The new Bond woman
It's not often that the producers of Bond, in their wisdom, have allowed a lady over 35 be caught dead in a clinch with their dashing hero. Say what you like about 007, but he's never been known for his mature taste in women.
A tally recently published in a British newspaper revealed that in 19 out of the 23 Bond films, James's lover is at least a decade younger than him.
But that was the 1960s and the 1970s. Things are beginning to change - on screen sex appeal is going equal opportunities. Or at least, it is for the one woman in the world capable of shaking up the status quo - Monica Bellucci, otherwise known as officially the most scorching hot 50-something on the planet.
You'd think from the headlines in which she is identified in no uncertain terms as the oldest bond girl ever, that the uber-milf from Italy was getting ready to collect her free bus pass, but closer examination reveals that she is just four measly years older than Daniel Craig, the man whom she will appear against in the new movie, who at 46 is not exactly a spring chicken himself.
Until now, it was Honor Blackman who had the dubious honour of regularly being identified as the most decrepit ever Bond girl (she was 39 when she played Pussy Galore). But one sultry glance from Monica and the strange and shocking anomaly of her date of birth is forgotten. "When you are beautiful you get noticed, when you are talented you get hired," said Bellucci, who like a fine wine, has just improved with age.