Ryedale actor at 7-1 to be next James Bond

James Norton as Alex Godman in McMafia. PA Photo/BBC/Cuba/Nick Wall
James Norton as Alex Godman in McMafia. PA Photo/BBC/Cuba/Nick Wall

HIS name's Norton, James Norton. And the Ryedale actor is still being tipped as one of the favourites to succeed Daniel Craig as the new James Bond.

Bookmakers William Hill now have Norton - versatile star of small screen hits ranging from McMafia to War & Peace, Grantchester to Happy Valley - as 7-1 joint fourth favourite to be the new 007 in the latest betting.

That puts him neck and neck with The Wire's Idris Elba and Aidan Turner of Poldark fame, and ahead of the likes of Tom Hardy, Richard Madden and Cillian Murphy.

Only Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page, former Superman Henry Cavill and two-time Oscar nominee Michael Fassbender are now ahead of Norton in the Bond stakes.

A spokesman for William Hill said: "James Norton has been on our radar for quite some time now, and his impressive career would definitely catch the eye of Barbara Broccoli and her team.

York Press:
York Press:

Norton as doomed hearthrob Prince Andrei in War & Peace

"From War & Peace to McMafia, Norton has shown how versatile he can be when it comes to his range of characters - so, a spy role could well be on the cards for him.”

The rumour mill about who will be the next Bond has been running at full speed ever since Daniel Craig announced he would be hanging up his licence to kill for good after completing last year’s No Time to Die.

Norton, 36, who grew up in Ryedale and was educated at Ampleforth College, has proved his versatility in a string of roles for film and TV.

It was his chilling turn as rapist and kidnapper Tommy Lee Royce in the first series of Happy Valley in 2014 that first brought him to widespread attention.

Since then he has starred as the doomed and noble Prince Andrei in the BAFTA award-winning TV adaptation of War & Peace, and as Alex Godman, the British-raised son of a Russian mafia boss living in London whose father is trying to escape from the world of organised crime, in crime drama McMafia.

York Press:
York Press:

Norton (right) in Grantchester

For many, however, he is still best known as the Reverend Sidney Chambers, former Scots Guards officer turned Anglican vicar and amateur sleuth in Grantchester.

He first hit our screens in that role in 2014 - the same year that we saw him as Happy Valley's Tommy Lee Royce, and the contrast between the two characters could not have been more stark.

"Could it be that famous tuxedo and a shaken, not stirred martini which Norton adds next onto his CV?" the William Hill spokesman asked.

Don't bet against it...

Latest William Hill odds for the next Bond:

  • 5-2: Regé-Jean Page

  • 7-2: Henry Cavill

  • 5-1: Michael Fassbender

  • 7-1: James Norton, Idris Elba, Aidan Turner

  • 8-1: Tom Hardy

  • 10-1: Lashana Lynch, Richard Madden

  • 12-1: Cillian Murphy, Jamie Dornan

You can see the full odds here: