James Norton speaks out on replacing Daniel Craig as James Bond

The name's Norton. James Norton.

James Norton has distanced himself from rumours that he will replace Daniel Craig as the next James Bond.

The actor has been tipped by bookmakers as a possible successor as 007, and the rumours have intensified since his suave turn as Alex Godman in BBC One crime thriller McMafia.

Not only does Alex wear a Bond-esque tux in the show, in the first episode he’s also seen in the sea in some tight swimming trunks, echoing that now-classic Craig scene from Casino Royale.

Related: This is the reason Daniel Craig changed his mind about returning to James Bond role

“It’s lovely, wonderful and complimentary to be involved in that conversation but it’s just a rumour mill and that’s as far as it goes,” BBC Newsbeat quotes Norton as saying.

“I did mention at the time that those scenes would possibly contribute to the [Bond] rumours but McMafia is its own beast.

“I hope Daniel Craig does five more movies and can keep the rumours on himself. I’m a big fan of his and – selfishly – I’d like him to carry on.”

daniel craig james bond

Daniel Craig will return as 007

Back in February, and long before McMafia hit screens, Coral’s Dan Stevens said of Norton’s shortening odds: “Out of nowhere we’ve been hit with a surge of bets for Norton to be the next Bond.

“Even after slashing the odds to 5/2 we are still seeing money for the actor, leaving us both shaken and stirred.”

Daniel Craig joined the Bond franchise in 2006 with Casino Royale and followed it with Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015).

After it long being thought that Spectre may be his Bond swansong, it was confirmed earlier this year that Craig would in fact be returning in 2019 for the 25th Bond film.