Bond fans rejoice, as we may have a new winner in the race for the next 007: London-born War and Peace star James Norton. 30-year-old Norton, previously second favourite (behind Aidan Turner) to take over from current Bond Daniel Craig, has eclipsed all other bets (including The Night Manager’s Tom Hiddleston) to become the newest favourite with odds of just 1/3.
The development has been so sudden (overnight, in fact) that betting on him has officially been SUSPENDED in some outlets, suggesting someone in the know has leaked some top-secret information.
Chuffed as punch! pic.twitter.com/hAxVPbUfY8— James Norton (@jginorton) 8 June 2016
For those of you who haven't heard, Daniel Craig is supposedly stepping down as Bond in the near future, with some reports suggesting that Spectre (2015) was Craig's last Bond outing. Although no official announcements have been made to confirm this, during talks to promote Spectre, Daniel was quite vocal about not wanting to return as the UK's most famous spy.
Bit of this... pic.twitter.com/cgZPUHQiDX— James Norton (@jginorton) 17 January 2016
Norton has been slowly gaining favour with bookies over the last few weeks, rising from a 33/1 bet six weeks ago, to 25/1 and 20/1 in the past week, but the overnight change to his odds has been quite drastic. Of course, Norton's sudden rise to favourite could have something to do with another Bond favourite's recent announcement: previous favourite Aidan Turner will be returning for a third series of Poldark, which means he may not have time to be saving lives and sipping martinis in the near future! Not that anyone’s complaining…
As a Paddy Power spokesperson told the Metro: ‘We’ve barely had any bets on Norton to be the next Bond... We thought the first this morning was like a hopeful roulette spin in Casino Royale. However, after a sudden sequence of follow-up punts, we’re starting to suspect that we’re dealing with a Dr. In The Know – so the odds have Skyfall-en.’
Bond fans – watch this space.
Take a look at the current odds on who could possible replace Daniel Craig as the next James Bond below:
1/3 James Norton
30-year old London-born actor who's won acclaim and BAFTA nominations for his roles in TV dramas Grantchester, War and Peace and Happy Valley.
7/4 Aidan Turner
Irish born and bred and (famously) hairy-chested star of BBC One's period drama Poldark and Being Human. Aidan's also appeared in films such as The Hobbit.
9/2 Tom Hiddleston
35-year-old Eton-schooled Londoner famous for his roles in The Avengers and The Night Manager.
10/1 Idris Elba
Flying the East End flag at Buckingham Palace today!!! OBE Day..... How does the boy look?— Idris Elba (@idriselba) 11 March 2016
Feeling Proppa...:) pic.twitter.com/rnlNjZjgSi
London-based actor, best known for his work in crime dramas The Wire and BBC One's Luther.
11/1 Damian Lewis
Thanks to Jon and the JAG US guys for the supercharge ride this summer. She growls.... pic.twitter.com/wCwpGCGdRN— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) 28 August 2015
Another Londoner and an actor/director, known for his critically-acclaimed role as Nicholas Brody in Homeland, for which he won an Emmy and a Golden Globe.
12/1 Jamie Bell
Best known as the child star of Billy Elliott, he's currently having a moment in film and features in everything from The Fantastic Four to King Kong.
12/1 Tom Hardy
Academy Award-nominated British actor known for his gritty Hollywood roles in The Revenant and Mad Max.
Let us know who you'd like to see as the next Bond by using #goodliving on social media.