Ralph Fiennes has revealed he once auditioned to play James Bond but lost out on the part to Pierce Brosnan.

Fiennes, who can soon be seen in The Grand Budapest Hotel, made his debut as 007's boss M in the last Bond movie, Skyfall, but says he once eyed the role of the world's most famous secret agent himself.

Speaking to Seven magazine, he said: "There was an early conversation. There was a conversation that was great, and a meeting with Cubby Broccoli [producer Albert "Cubby" Broccoli], that was terrific.

"I think that's all I can really say, except that it didn't lead to anything on both sides. I don't think I felt ready to commit and I think they were looking at Pierce. I think I would have been a terrible Bond anyway."