Actor Richard Madden has once again been tipped as the new James Bond – by one of his producers on hit TV show The Bodyguard.
The Scot, who has become adept at avoiding rumours he is signed up for the 007 role, had been expected to return for a second series of the BBC drama.
However, shortly after the 32-year-old picked up the prize for Best Drama Performance at the National Television Awards last week, it was revealed that his future as war veteran David Budd could be in doubt.
Reports suggest one of the show’s producers told the Mail on Sunday: “We don’t know if Richard will do series two of Bodyguard.”
He then added: “It depends what happens with James Bond – we don’t know yet.”
Mr Madden’s fellow Scot Lorraine Kelly also fuelled further rumours after bumping into him after the NTA ceremony.
On her ITV morning show, she told viewers: “ I think we can safely say Bodyguard is coming back. He’s definitely going to be there.”
She went on to surprise viewers by adding: “And he’s definitely signed to be James Bond.”
It is understood that Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has been in touch with Mr Madden, who grew up in Elderslie, Renfrewshire, following his acclaimed performance in Bodyguard.
He has previously said it was a “brilliant thing” to be touted as Daniel Craig’s successor.
He said: “I love the movies. I’ve read all the books.” But he added: “If you talk about it, you’ll curse it.”
Madden, who also played Robb Stark in the HBO hit fantasy series Game of Thrones, has been described by some in Hollywood as “the perfect choice” to play Bond.
If successful, the actor will become the second Scottish star to play the iconic role after Sir Sean Connery.
Current bond Mr Craig has long expressed a desire to retire from the famously physically-demanding role but has been persuaded by Ms Broccoli to give it one more go.
He has agreed to star in the next 007 film, currently titled Bond 25, due to begin shooting in February 2020.
Shortly before Craig signed the big-money deal, the 50-year-old star was reported as saying he would rather “slash his wrists” than play the character.
He added: “If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money.”