James Norton says there's "no truth" behind rumours he could be the next James Bond.

James Norton

James Norton

The 34-year-old actor was recently reported to be the new favourite to take over the iconic 007 role after Daniel Craig departs from the long running movie franchise following the release of 'No Time To Die' in April this year.

But James has shot down the reports, saying that whilst it's "quite flattering" to hear the rumours about him, they are "pure speculation".

Asked about the possibility of him taking on the suave spy, he said: "It's crazy. It's not real. It's speculative. There is no truth behind it. Unless journalists know something more than I do. It's bizarre and quite flattering to be even considered in that world, but beyond that? Pure speculation."

James insists he "loves the franchise" and hopes boss Barbara Broccoli can continue to make the popular movies "relevant".

He added to The Sunday Times newspaper's Culture magazine: "I love the franchise and hope Barbara Broccoli continues to make it relevant. Going into the heart of Bond's private world, as opposed to one-liners, is already progress. But there is more to be made, so future casting in all roles is going to be important. I don't know how you do that, because I'm not Barbara Broccoli."

The 'Little Women' star was reported to be in talks for the role earlier this month, when it was claimed he had been involved in secret meetings with the franchise's producers.

A source said at the time: "Numerous meetings and secret squirrel script readings were had at the back end of last year.

"James has always been in the frame but until four months ago there were no concrete moves.

"Producers wanted a Brit and James ticks all the boxes - tall, strapping, physically fit and, of course, looks great in a dinner jacket.

"James has been filming in upstate New York for the past few months, but was out celebrating recently, with one of his gang openly telling revellers that his mate was the new James Bond.

"Everyone is hoping to get the deal confirmed and signed off, with an announcement in the summer."

Meanwhile, film chief Barbara recently said she won't be recasting James Bond as a woman, but didn't rule out the possibility of changing the character's race.

She said: "He can be of any colour, but he is male. I believe we should be creating new characters for women - strong female characters. I'm not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that."