Could Devon-born actor Bradley James be the next James Bond?

Exeter-born actor Bradley James

Would Exeter-born actor Bradley James make a good James Bond? - Credit: Sue Lukenbaugh/Flickr

Devon-born Bradley James has emerged as a contender to be the next James Bond.

Bookmaker William Hill has added the Exeter-born star to the shortlist of those who could replace Daniel Craig, at odds of 25-1. 

The Merlin star was first linked with the role in chat forums back in 2020, but hasn’t been a key contender in the next James Bond market until late last week - and he sits alongside previous favourites T’Nia Miller, Dwayne Johnson and Henry Golding in the odds.

Speculation has been rife as to who will step into Daniel Craig's shoes, after he departed from the series following the release of No Time to Die late last year.

And with Bond producers claiming that they’re looking for ‘something different’ for the next superspy actor, Bradley looks a likely pick following his addition to the competitive market.

Bradley rose to fame as Arthur Pendragon in BBC’s fantasy series Merlin, which also proved successful in the US before ending a five-year run in 2012.

Other lead roles include Damien Thorn in an Omen-sequel series, and Giuliano de’ Medici in historical drama Medici: The Magnificent - which also starred current Bond contender Richard Madden, who’s priced in the market at 8-1.

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But it is James’ most recent role, as Felix Sparks in The Liberator, that really made him a potential 007 contender, as the war drama miniseries sees Bradley play a US government official and army officer - with military and political undertones similar to an MI6 agent.

Speaking on the odds, a William Hill spokesperson said: "Although he may be lesser-known than some of the other names in the market, Bradley James is a solid fit for 007 as he has a diverse CV and is popular in the US market, where the Bond franchise also thrives.

"And with producers confirming that they’re heading in a slightly different direction for the next casting, late additions like Bradley could well be a sign of where things are heading."

The current frontrunner in the market is Bridgerton heartthrob Rege-Jean Page, who sits at 9-4, followed by Idris Elba (9-2) and long-time favourite Man of Steel, Henry Cavill (5-1). 

To see the full list of contenders for the next James Bond, visit https://sports.williamhill.com/betting/en-gb/tv-specials/OB_EV1075072/next-james-bond-after-daniel-craig