Former James Bond star Sir Roger Moore has died in Switzerland after a short battle with cancer, his family has announced.

Sir Roger was the longest-serving actor to play the womanising MI6 agent, having portrayed 007 in seven films.

In a statement his family said: “It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer.

“The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone.

“We know our own love and admiration will be magnified many times over, across the world, by people who know him for his films, his television shows and his passionate work for UNICEF which he considered to be his greatest achievement.”

The statement continued: “The affection our father felt whenever he walked on to a stage or in front of camera buoyed him hugely and kept him  busy working into his 90th year, through to his last appearance in November 2016 on stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

“The capacity crowd cheered him on and off stage, shaking the very foundations of the building just a short distance from where he was born.

“Thank you Pops for being you, and for being so very special to so many people.

“Our thoughts must now turn to supporting Kristina at this difficult time, and in accordance with our father’s wishes there will be a private funeral in Monaco.”

Last year during a question-and-answer session at London’s Southbank Centre, he admitted that, despite winning the coveted role of the martini-swirling spy, one part he wished he had landed was Lawrence of Arabia.

He said: “I remember Bob Baker and I going to see Lawrence of Arabia and coming out both being very depressed and saying ‘We might as well give up the business’, because they had made the best movie that had ever been made.”

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