Pierce Brosnan has backed Colin Salmon to play the first black James Bond, calling it "one of the most rewarding roles" in cinema.
The actor, who played the secret agent with a licence to kill in four films, said there was no rush to replace Daniel Craig, who he said was "doing superbly well".
Speaking about his time as Bond, he said: "That was without a question one of the most rewarding roles. That character, and the opportunities it gave one.
"That job is the gift that keeps giving because once you're a Bond, you're a Bond for life.
"It's a small company of men now who have played the role and for me, it's allowed me to create my own company to produce, and to step forth into the international market and have a profile.
"That's a healthy thing for any actor - the more choices you have. Without a question, it was a significant part of my life and career, and is ongoing in many respects."
Brosnan, who is about to appear in his latest role in a Danish romantic comedy called Love Is All You Need, said Salmon, who starred with him in three of the films, would be the ideal replacement when Craig leaves.
He said: "I've always thrown Colin Salmon's name in the mix. He's somebody I have worked with closely over the years. He would be outstanding and I think it would be absolutely essential."