A flurry of bets placed on actor Colin Salmon to replace Pierce Brosnan as the next James Bond was dismissed yesterday as a “publicity stunt,” reports The Scotsman.
Bookmaker William Hill received “hundreds of calls” from punters eager to back Salmon, who would be the first black actor to take the role. Rival agency Ladbrokes stopped taking bets on Salmon after receiving six bets worth up to £500 each in just under an hour. Ladbrokes, fearing a sting, felt people might be using insider knowledge and cancelled betting immediately.
Speculation was further fuelled when The Sun reported the actor had started using a “007” in his autograph.
However, Hill believes the bets placed on Salmon with Ladbrokes are a stunt, and has given Salmon very small odds in the hope that it would deter people from placing bets on the actor.
“We have had a number of punters backing Colin Salmon to be the next Bond,” a spokesman said. “I think that the interest shown is purely speculation and is not based on insider information. As far as we are aware a decision will not be made until the New Year.”
Salmon appears in the Bond series as M’s chief of staff, Charles Robinson, and has stood in as 007 during Bond Girl casting sessions. At one time Brosnan did name Salmon as an ideal replacement.
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