DAME JUDI DENCH reckons Idris Elba could be the next 007.
The veteran actress, 85, played MI6 boss M in seven James Bond movies before her alter ego met her demise in Skyfall.
She said she joked about the coveted spy role with Elba, 47, on the set of the new Cats movie.
‘I knew he was up for it,’ Dame Judi told The Graham Norton Show.
‘In Cats I had the line to him, “You’ll never get to the Heaviside Layer”. But during rehearsals I said, “You’ll never get to MI6”.
‘But,’ the Oscar-winner hinted, ‘I think he might.’
Elba has previously said that being the first black actor to play 007 would put him in a ‘difficult position’.
‘Of course, if someone said to me, “Do you want to play James Bond?”, I’d be like, “Yeah!”‘ he told Vanity Fair magazine.
‘That’s fascinating to me. But it’s not something I’ve expressed, like, “Yeah, I wanna be the black James Bond”…
‘Then, if I get it and it didn’t work, or it did work, would it be because of the colour of my skin?
‘That’s a difficult position to put myself into when I don’t need to.’
No Time To Die, due out next year, will be Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge worked on the script for the 25th Bond film, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga.
Norton’s chat show also features Jennifer Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Hugh Grant, Michael Bublé and Coldplay.
■ The Graham Norton Show airs tonight on BBC One at 10.40pm