18/01/2017 13:40 GMT

'Next James Bond' Odds Shorten On Tom Hardy, But James Norton Is STILL The Favourite

'There’s a saying... if you talk about it you’re automatically out of the race.'

One thing we do know is that, at some point in the not too distant future and despite producer Barbara Broccoli’s most heartfelt wishes, there will be a brand new 007.

The identity of the next holder of the licence to kill is, however, not quite so certain, with the bookies having to reach for their calculators and do fresh sums every time a British actor with a pulse and a penchant for a tuxedo speaks out about the role, or is spotted having a chat with the 007 producers, or appears in an action film, or leaves the house looking dashing.

All the latest talk is of Tom Hardy, following his explosive role in TV drama ‘Taboo’, and having the good manners to answer questions about 007 when pressed by journalists.

Tom explained this week to the Daily Beast, “You know, there’s a saying amongst us in the fraternity of acting, and in the fellowship of my peer group, that if you talk about it you’re automatically out of the race.”

Jonathan Brady/PA Archive
Tom Hardy doesn't want to talk himself out of a job

However, he didn’t exactly dismiss the idea, either, praising everyone involved in recent efforts - director Sam Mendes “impressive” - star Daniel Craig “so good” - producer Barbara Broccoli “impressive”. Etc etc.

Despite his discreet effusiveness, Tom’s odds may have shot up the bookies’ chart, but he’s still not numero uno as far as they concerned.

That plinth currently belongs to James Norton, on odds of 2/1, whose star has flown high in 2016 with the triple whammy of ‘War and Peace’ (melancholic warrior), ‘Happy Valley’ (brooding psychopath) and ‘Grantchester’ (a man with his robust and independent moral compass). You can see why he’s so favoured.

Coming up behind him - ‘Poldark’ star Aidan Turner at 3/1. No explanation needed.

Stuart C. Wilson via Getty Images

Tom Hiddleston, a former bookies’ certainty, remains in the running, with odds ranging between 6/1 and 9/1.

A surprise entry in the top five front-runners is Jack Huston (recently of the ‘Ben-Hur’ remake), alongside Idris Elba and Ryan Gosling.

If you fancy an outside flutter, former One Direction alumnus Louis Tomlinson is on the list at 100/1, as is Tom Cruise at 80/1, David Walliams at 200/1 and Ainsley Harriot at 500/1. Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn share odds of 1000/1 - but hey, an outsider very occasionally comes in.

Once again, for my money, Tom Hughes... that’s all I’m saying. Or... 

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