Roger Moore denies racism after saying Idris Elba is not “English-English” enough to play Bond

The former 007 has faced a barrage of online criticism but claims his comment in a French magazine was "lost in translation"

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Sir Roger Moore has taken to Twitter to defend his remark that Idris Elba is an “unrealistic” candidate for James Bond.

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His comment appeared in French magazine Paris Match under the headline “Idris Elba: le prochain Bond?”, which translates as “Idris Elba: the next Bond?” 

When translated into English, it reads: “Several years ago I said Cuba Gooding Jr would make an excellent Bond, but that was a joke.

“Even though James has been played by a Scotsman, a Welshman and an Irishman, I think he has to remain English-English. It’s an interesting idea, but unrealistic.”

Yesterday the 87-year-old actor, who starred in seven Bond movies between 1973 and 1985, claimed he’d been misunderstood after facing a backlash on Twitter. 

Moore later attempted to explain further, replying to a critic: “when a journalist asks if ‘bond should be English’ and you agree, then quotes you saying it about Idris Elba its out of context [sic]”

Idris Elba, who is currently filming a two-part special of his BBC2 crime drama Luther, has long been the favourite to succeed current incumbent Daniel Craig – and has been publicly backed by Craig.

Read more: Luther’s back – and he’s still not a safe distance from the edge

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