James Bond: Tom Hiddleston blames The Night Manager for rampant speculation that he will replace Daniel Craig

The British actor plays spy Jonathan Pine in the BBC adaptation of John Le Carre's novel

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The Independent Culture

Those ‘Tom Hiddleston for James Bond’ rumours have been gathering so much speed that the British actor can go nowhere without facing questions about his 007 chances.

The 35-year-old’s role as Jonathan Pine in the BBC’s adaptation of John Le Carre’s book The Night Manager has further fuelled speculation, with many viewing his performance as a Bond audition.

Hiddleston joined Jimmy Kimmel on his US chat show on Tuesday to discuss the 10/1 odds that have him down to replace Daniel Craig.

“‘Who’s gonna be James Bond?’ is one of the nation’s favourite pub conversations, up there with ‘Who’s gonna win X Factor?’ and ‘Is Britain gonna leave the EU?’” he said. 

“I play a British spy in The Night Manager so people I think have made the link. I mean, as somebody who grew up with Sean Connery and Roger Moore, when you mention it there’s a part of me that goes, ‘Really? Are you kidding?”

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Tom Hiddleston as Jonathan Pine in The Night Manager

Hiddleston has previously acknowledged the similarities between Pine and Bond, admitting that it would be an “extraordinary opportunity” if it “ever came knocking”.

“I’m a huge fan of the series,” he told The Sunday Times. “We all went to see Spectre when we were shooting Skull Island in Hawaii. I simply love the theme tune, the tropes and the mythology. I love the whole thing. But I’m very aware of the physicality of the job. I would not take it lightly.”

Craig could still reprise the role for a fifth time but said after Spectre’s release that he would rather “slash his wrists” than play Bond again.

Other contenders are believed to be Damian Lewis, James Norton, Henry Cavill and Aidan Turner.

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