Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Joanna Lumley says Idris Elba should not play James Bond: 'He doesn't fit the description'

The Absolutely Fabulous actress has said the British actor "does not fit the book's description"

Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
Share this:

Joanna Lumley has claimed Hollywood star Idris Elba should not play the role of James Bond because he doesn't fit the character described in Ian Fleming's popular books. The 71-year-old actress, who had a cameo as an Angel of Death in Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, was quizzed on who should take over from Daniel Craig as 007. She told Radio Times: "Idris Elba is stunning but I don't think he is right for Bond, who is quite clearly described in the book. I'm colour-blind when it comes to acting, but Idris Elba is just a zonking great star anyway."

bond© Photo: Getty Images

Joanna Lumley has said Idris Elba should play James Bond

Her comments come months after Idris ruled out the chance to play the fictional British Secret Service agent. Removing himself from the role, he told Good Morning America that he thinks he is "too old" to play the suave spy, and that it is the "wildest rumour in the world." He explained: "If I'm really honest, man, I think I'm too old for that, I can't be running around in cars and ladies and martinis - who wants to do that? It sounds terrible! If it were to happen, it would be the will of a nation, because there's not been talks of me in the studios about any of that. But everywhere I go, people want that to happen."

bond 2a© Photo: Getty Images

"Idris Elba is stunning but I don't think he is right for Bond," she said

He then claimed that it was actually Daniel, who has played Bond in four films now, who sparked the discussion to give him the coveted role next. The 44-year-old star revealed: "Daniel Craig actually set the rumour off. About four years ago he said Idris Elba would be a great Bond, and then it started to creep. I blame Daniel!"

STORY: Tom Hiddleston just crushed all of our James Bond dreams with this confession

Meanwhile, James Bond author Anthony Horowitz previously landed himself in controversy in 2015 after commenting that Idris was "too street" to play 007. He said: "For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It's not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too 'street' for Bond." However, Anthony later apologised and said: "Clumsily, I chose the word 'street' as Elba's gritty portrayal of DCI John Luther was in my mind but I admit it was a poor choice of word. I am mortified to have caused offence."