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"


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


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.

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