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Credit: PA/Richard Shotwell
Now I'm going to tell you a little story and I promise you it's 100 percent true. My mum used to go out with Timothy Dalton. He was Bond for two movies in the late 80s: The Living Daylights and License To Kill. Both were pretty good, too.
Anyway, this relationship was over 50 years ago and I'm in my twenties so I don't need a paternity test. Which is a shame, I suppose, because instead of writing about Bond I could be auditioning. Never mind.
Anyway, they dated at a school in Derbyshire (not sure where the myth that Timothy Dalton is Welsh comes from), and then my mum decided he was a 'bit of a wimp' and dumped him! My mum dumped James Bond! I'm really sorry Timothy and if you ever get to read this, you were bloody brilliant in Flash Gordon and continue to boss it in Penny Dreadful. If you want to become my best mate, Timothy, I'm here!
In the end mum married dad and the family went down the road of health insurance as a career path, rather than acting.
Mum dated this bloke!
License To Kill also featured a young Benicio Del Toro.
Anyway, Tom Hiddleston's Bond-esque spy role in the recent BBC series The Night Manager, from the John Le Carré novel of the same name, was noticeable, and his role as Loki in the Marvel Universe stuff is very good.
Hiddleston (centre), starred in The Night Manager.
Hiddleston's also charming, a great actor (including theatre - he was amazing in the RSC's Coriolanus live), and he's got a smooth edge that could work well as an antithesis to Craig's hard-man. He's ticking all the boxes to become the favourite for the role. It's his to lose. Oh, but he has lost it. He will never become James Bond, and here's why.
DATING TAYLOR SWIFT
Taylor and Tom, what a Love Sory.
Would you rather a) sleep with Taylor Swift or b) become James Bond and sleep with pretty much anyone else in the world you want to? Genuinely a tough one.
Their dating is now official, and they were recently pictured holding hands in Rome. An invasion of privacy? A little, but the reality is the paparazzi won't just disappear. And, to be honest, the pair of them seem to be lapping it up, recently being pictured in a cuddle while Ryan Reynolds looks exceptionally awkward. In dating Taylor Swift, Tom Hiddleston has ensured he'll be in the news every day, there'll be hashtags about the couple (I'm sure there are already, but I have better things to do with my life than check), the paps will snap and the circus will roll on until, most probably, they both realise they're not perfect for each other and she'll write a few songs about it.
Now, of course little old me would be content just getting a hello from Taylor Swift, but I'm not vying for one of the biggest roles in film. He is.
All previous Bonds have not been involved in a media frenzy outside of their acting lives. Connery was married to actress Diane Cilento for 11 years from 1962-73, his whole time as Bond, but it didn't spark the same kind of hype. He's since been married for 40 years to Micheline Roquebrune.
Connery in Goldfinger.
George Lazenby... who cares - that was just a massive mistake; Roger Moore, in his Bond heyday, had a wife not in the limelight, and then we come to Timothy Dalton. During his Bond days, his relationship with Vanessa Redgrave was already over and he didn't get with future wife Oskana Grigorieva until after License To Kill.
Roger Moore was puntastic.
Pierce Brosnan got married to author and journalist Keely Shaye Smith in 2001, after most of his Bond roles had been completed.
Brosnan looking absolutely like Bond.
Daniel Craig is married to actress Rachel Weisz but it doesn't invoke the same media frenzy that Taylor and Tom will. Also, they got married in 2011, well after Craig was fully established as the first 'blonde Bond'.
Craig brought a new, edgier Bond.
Apologies for the diatribe but it proves a point: the allure of Bond is in the actor's privacy and time away from the limelight. For this reason, it's no surprise that the Bond role doesn't go to big Hollywood stars and people involved with a particularly prominent partner in the media.
CAN YOU SEE BOND DRINKING AT STARBUCKS?
Can you imagine James Bond playing his smooth moves on a stunning lady in the middle of Starbucks? NO! But that's the world Taylor Swift sings about. Sure, Heineken was included in Skyfall and that electric hybrid whatever-it-was car in Quantum of Solace, but that kind of marketing is pretty rare.
If she'd sung about giving her boyfriend an Omega for her birthday, he'd have had a much better chance.
I just can't see the Bond franchise being happy biting its nails and waiting to see what teen-pop album Taylor Swift releases next.
Here's the trailer for Spectre. It's fucking intense. But could you really feel the same intensity when you know the main man is dating Miss Pop herself? Personally, I know I couldn't.
THE NEED FOR CLASS IN AND OUT OF WORK
Part of being classy is by not coveting more media attention than you/the movie needs. Sure, Daniel Craig towards the end was very outspoken and that created headlines, but he'd also got his feet firmly under the table by then. Hiddleston can't afford such luxuries.
There's a plethora of top British male actors available for the position (no, James Bond cannot be a woman, it's not sexist to say that, it's just common sense!) and the franchise has scores of top candidates to choose from. It makes sense that the Bond franchise builds the hype around the role, rather than the hype being about the actor himself. I think that's why Bond and Cubby and Barbara Broccoli have usually chosen not to plump for the obvious candidate for the role.
I'm not saying that Hiddleston's and Swift's romance is classless, but the frenzy around it certainly will be. Every time they breathe within walking distance, it'll bring more media hype. Every tweet that can be misconstrued will be blown out of proportion. This is not the hype the Bond franchise needs. It's unfortunate, but it means the end of his chances.
Taylor has a few exes and when you're being linked with shit like this, your chances of getting the role of the world's coolest Lothario spy plunge.
JAMES BOND IN THE BOOKS
I have read most of Ian Fleming's novels. Let me tell you, the plots aren't as good as in the movies, Bond is around 5ft6" and he's actually a bit of a pussy. He's also pretty vulnerable and not that amazing at his job at times. If they cast a 5ft6" wuss then people would be livid, so I'm not really a massive advocate of the idea the character should look and act just like the books.
I admit I was vexed when they cast Craig because of the hair, but I think we've moved on from such intricacies now. Craig added another dimension and was a really good Bond in my opinion. So Hiddleston, as another fair-haired Bond, would not be an issue at all.
The only problem will be the inevitably likely failure of their romance and the release of I Knew You Were Trouble 2.
SO WHO WILL BE THE NEXT JAMES BOND?
Henry Cavill is a strong contender. Again, a bit like Daniel Craig in Layer Cake, he plays a smooth character as Solo in The Man With U.N.C.L.E. He has a gun, a suit, charm, dark black hair (like Bond in the books), and suits the role. I find his acting a touch wooden, but that could oddly suit the role. Remember that Clive Owen was very nearly Bond and he stands there like a matchstick.
Cavill even looks like Bond. Credit: Warner Bros
MAJOR ISSUE: He's Superman, and that wouldn't fit the Bond model of choosing actors who haven't exhausted Hollywood's superheroes. His odds have also fallen as low as 40/1 now.
Here is Cavill talking about how he came second to Daniel Craig as Bond last time.
Michael Fassbender: I love his acting and personally think he'd be a great Bond. The German-Irish actor is as at home in small Indie movies as he is in the Hollywood franchises. He'd bring both badass and charm to the role.
MAJOR ISSUE: Like Henry Cavill, he's already heavily invested in his role as Magneto in the X-Men franchise.
Fassbender as Magneto.
Damian Lewis: I love Damian Lewis, and I loved Damian Lewis as an actor before it was cool to love Damian Lewis, but I must say I'm extremely impressed with his agent. The star, now best known for Homeland and Billions, is already 45 and I'd be in shock if they gave him it.
Idris Elba: Great shout 10 years ago, but he's 43. Like Lewis, I think he's too old to start the role now.
Credit: Getty Images
Tom Hardy: Hardy would be very much the James Bond of the books in height and looks but could also add a modern-day grit that makes him a great candidate. The argument he plays hard-man roles all the time has been thrown at him, but that's utter horse shit. He was a vulnerable spy in Tinker Taiilor Soldier Spy, he pretty much played James Bond in Inception and his portrayal of Heathcliff in TV drama Wuthering Heights, from the Emily Bronte novel, was one of the best acting performances I've ever seen. He's not always playing Charles Bronson or a Batman baddie with a peculiarly Russian accent.
Tom Hardy as Heathcliff.
Aidan Turner: Who, you may say? He's the favourite with the bookies, and it would suit the Bond franchise to choose him as he has an established career but has, so far, slipped under the radar a little. He's best known for the recent Hobbit series, and has the look for the role (when he shaves). The 33-year-old Irishman also has a solid career in theatre. Not for me, though.
Aidan Turner. Credit: Getty Images
So who do I want to be the next Bond? Fassbender, followed by Tom Hardy. I'm also happy for it to be Hiddleston, but, well, I think I've made all that clear.
If you want a Leicester City-style punt though, Ross Kemp is available at 1,000/1.
I think, regarding the media storm that will follow Tom Hiddleston, he'll really struggle to Shake It Off.
I'll get the door myself.
Words Patrick Hulbert
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