Former ‘James Bond’ actor backs Idris Elba to play 007

George Lazenby says casting Elba would be "a good idea"

Former James Bond star George Lazenby has backed Idris Elba to take on the iconic spy role.

Elba is among a select group of actor tipped to take on the role if and when Daniel Craig leaves the 007 franchise. It is also rumoured that Tom Hiddlestone, Damian Lewis and Aidan Turner could be in the running.

Lazenby, who played Bond in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, has backed Elba though he claimed that casting a black actor in the role would cause “a lot of head scratching.”

Speaking at the 10th anniversary Britweek gala in Los Angeles was asked by the Press Association whether he thinks a black actor should play Bond, to which he replied: “That’s beyond me. I mean, why not? That’s what I say.

“But then on the other hand, you’re going to have a lot of people scratching their head going: ‘James Bond wasn’t black.’” Asked whether Elba would make a good James Bond, Lazenby replied: “Why not? It would be a good idea.”

However, all talk of a new Bond could be premature. Speaking to Empire at the Empire Awards, where Spectre picked up two prizes, Mendes admitted that while he felt Daniel Craig may have turned his back on the part, there is still a clear way back in for him if he chooses to continue.

Craig has portrayed iconic fictional secret agent James Bond in four films since 2006, appearing inCasino Royale, 2008’s Quantum of Solace, 2012’s Skyfall and last year’s Spectre.

While promoting Spectre, Craig famously said he would rather “slash my wrists” than play 007 again. However, he later appeared to backtrack from this comment.