George Lazenby backs Idris Elba to be next James Bond
Former James Bond star George Lazenby has backed Idris Elba to be the next actor to play 007.
The Australian, who starred in the 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, said there would be "a lot of people scratching their head" if a black actor was cast as the character, created by Ian Fleming, but he believed hiring Elba would be a "good idea".
There has been much speculation about who will replace current Bond star Daniel Craig after he said he would rather "slash my wrists" than play the fictional spy again, with Tom Hiddleston and Damian Lewis also linked with the role.
When asked whether a black actor could play Bond, Lazenby, 76, told the Press Association: "That's beyond me. I mean, why not? That's what I say.
"But then on the other hand, you're going to have a lot of people scratching their head going 'James Bond wasn't black'.
"I had a black uncle who brought me up. He was black as the ace of spades, they used to call him Black Jack.
"I mix quite well with blacks. It's who they are, not what colour they are. It's 'are they a good guy or not?' That's what I'm looking for."
Asked whether Elba would make a good James Bond, Lazenby replied: "Why not? It would be a good idea."
Lazenby, who was speaking at the 10th anniversary Britweek gala in Los Angeles, also admitted he did not have much time for Hollywood.
"I'm not a Hollywood person," he said. "I hardly ever go there. I purposely don't have an agent so I don't work very much.
"People find me and they convince me this is what I've got to do next. I end up doing two or three films this year.
"I don't want to go out on calls. I'd rather spend time with my kids, play golf."