Richard Madden has taken the lead as the current favorite Scottish star to play the next James Bond, and is priced at 10-1 at William Hill.
The Next James Bond market sees Elderslie star Madden as an increasingly likely contender for James Bond, as he sits in the top 10 actors to step into the coveted role – with speculation having run rife after Daniel Craig stepped back from the franchise with No Time to Die.
The Eternals star, 35, could be set to swap his sword for a Walther PPK as a run of bets on the Scot sees him as a fan favorite for picking up where Craig left off.
Madden has been linked to the vacant tux ever since his breakthrough performance as a volatile ex-soldier in Netflix series Bodyguard and – most recently – having made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Eternals.
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Madden has notably avoided answering any questions related to him playing the new James Bond – which would make him the second Scottish star to do so, behind Sean Connery.
And although he dodged questions asking if he’s in consideration for the role, Madden has stated that he’s interested in playing the suave superspy as it’s “on his wish list”.
Fans are keen to see Bond return to his Scottish roots, with Fleming’s penultimate novel – You Only Live Twice – revealing that 007 has a Scottish father, and iconic actor Sean Connery having been first to portray the half-Scottish spy on the silver screen.
Speaking on the odds, a William Hill spokesperson said: “It’s no surprise that Richard Madden is a good fit for the role, as his work on BBC’s The Bodyguard clearly showed that he’s no stranger to defending key figures against attack on behalf of his country .
“It’s also high time that we saw another Scottish Bond enter the foray – after all, 007 has a strong connection to Scotland based on Ian Fleming’s work, so why not have Madden pick up where Connery left off?”
While Madden is the current Scottish favourite, other likely picks from the region include Outlander’s Sam Heughan – who’s priced at 16-1 – as well as Karen Gillan (50-1), Gerard Butler (50-1) and Ewan McGregor (66- one).
And his popularity doesn’t end there, with the former PACE star also in the running to be crowned Scotland’s Sexiest Man this year, as he’s likely to be awarded a Sexiest Man Alive award.
A study has collated the physical features and relevant lifestyle attributes of historical Sexiest Man Alive lists to build the world’s ideal man – with the study finding that dark-haired and brooding Madden is a near-perfect fit.
The data reveals that the ideal man has short tousled dark-brown hair and brown eyes, is exactly 6ft in height, has an athletic build and short brown facial hair.
Madden has curly dark brown hair, is just over 5ft 9” in height, is in great shape, and sports either a short brown beard or stubble – making him a near-perfect match.
The annual Sexiest Man Alive awards use reader votes to determine the hottest men across key categories, including sexiest smile, and are considered a benchmark of attractiveness.
The nominated actors tend to be very popular with fans and hold a prolific career – which Madden definitely does – meaning he’s a likely contender for taking home an award.
Other stars with links to Renfrewshire also in the running are Ralston’s David Tennant – who does have brown eyes, but is older than the ideal age – and Paisley theater alumni James McAvoy, who is also held back by his baby blues.
Interestingly, men are more likely to win the award when they’re in a relationship or married, suggesting that female voters appear to find commitment attractive – and with both Madden, Tennant and McAvoy either married or in relationships, they’re all a good fit for the title.