CHESTER-BORN actor Daniel Craig has ended months of speculation by confirming he will return to play James Bond in the next film about the iconic secret agent.

The 49-year-old told US chat show The Late Show that he will be given licence to thrill as 007 – but said this will be his last outing as Bond.

When asked by host Stephen Colbert whether he would play Bond for a fifth time, Craig said: “Yes” before shaking the presenter's hand.

Until that point, Craig had refused to say whether he was going to appear as Bond again – prompting plenty of media speculation and discussion from fans about who might be needed to replace him.

But now the secret is out – and Craig admitted he had known for “a couple of months” that he would be returning but had kept it under wraps.

"We've been discussing it. We've just been trying to figure things out," he said. "I always wanted to, (but) I needed a break."

Craig was born on Liverpool Road in Chester and later lived briefly in Frodsham, where his dad Tim ran the Ring O' Bells pub. After his parents split up in 1972, Craig moved to Liverpool with his mother Carol Olivia (known as Olivia) and then to Hoylake, attending Hilbre High School.

He took up amateur dramatics with Heswall Woolgatherers, before moving to London to pursue his acting dreams.

The next Bond film will be the 25th in the series. It is due out in November 2019.

Craig made his debut as 007 in 2006's Casino Royale and has since played the spy in Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015).