James Bond

It’s the biggest question in Hollywood: which actor will take over as James Bond, and, in doing so, take a step into stratospheric levels of fame.

Ever since Daniel Craig confirmed that the next James Bond movie, rumoured to be called “Shatterhand”, would be his last, young British and Irish actors have been queuing up to say what a honour it would be to play the iconic role, while insisting that there was nothing behind the rumours linking them to the part.

Tom Hiddleston has been a perennial name in the mix, fuelled by his huge internet popularity and role in the BBC’s adaptation of The Night Gardener. Richard Madden, Robb Stark from Game of Thrones, is also firmly in the frame, thanks to his all-action presence in TV hit Bodyguard. Back in November it seemed that Madden had been all but offered the role, but with nothing confirmed, the speculation continues to swirl.

Brand New Favourite

Now a new name has appeared at the top of the list: Damian Lewis. Betfair currently has the British actor joint favourite with Hiddleston at 2/1, with Madden just behind at 3/1. The “Billions” star, previously best known for Band of Brothers, is a hugely respected and charismatic actor; however, as with Cillian Murphy, he may be a little long in the tooth for the part.

Bond Producers are thought to be looking for someone who will don the famous tuxedo for at least four films, which translates to more than a decade as the world’s most famous spy. At 48 years old, Lewis would still be playing Bond at 60, which, unless the films were to take a very different direction, would stretch credibility. The 32 year old Madden seems a safer choice. Tom Hiddleston is 38.