Damian Lewis has said it would be unlikely he is the next actor to play James Bond because he will be too old by the time the film is made.
The Homeland star – along with Idris Elba, Aidan Turner and Cillian Murphy – has long been tipped for the role after Daniel Craig ends his tenure as the famous spy.
Despite years of speculation, Lewis, 48, said he cannot see a future for himself as 007, telling Radio Times magazine: “By the time they finally finish making the next Bond film, I’ll be old, decrepit…”
However, he added: “But on the other hand, from a diversity point of view, don’t you think it’s about time we had a ginger Bond?”
Craig was confirmed as the sixth actor to portray Bond in 2005 at the age of 37.
The 25th Bond film, No Time To Die, starring Craig as Bond for his fifth outing, will be released next year.
It is believed it will be Craig’s final appearance as the suave spy, at the age of 51.
There have been reports that British actress Lashana Lynch will take over Bond’s famous codename after his character leaves MI6 in the new film – but she will not be the next Bond.
Richard Madden, Tom Hardy and Tom Hiddleston are among the other names who have been tipped for the role after Craig hangs up his tuxedo.
While Lewis has ruled himself out of playing Bond, he does believe he could have what it takes to be a spy himself because he went to boarding school in his youth.
He said: “If you are sent away from your family at the age of eight, it gives you a rigour, a dissociative quality that is extremely useful for spies because they have to be able to shut down parts of their emotional life.
“That’s why the British secret services actively recruited public schoolboys.”
From October 7, Lewis fronts an eight-part docudrama series called Damian Lewis: Spy Wars on the History channel, which is comprised of archive footage, interviews with former agents and dramatic reconstructions, each episode looking at a different espionage story from the past 40 years.
Radio Times is available now.