Norton is a 30-year-old thespian, best known for stiff-upper-lip period dramas on the BBC like Death Comes to Pemberley, Life In Squares and Lady Chatterley’s Lover. More recently, he’s been breaking hearts as the aristocratic, red-blooded Prince Andrei in War and Peace, in the twisted thriller Happy Valley, and, ahem, as a sexy vicar in Grantchester. (Just watch it, trust us).
We like to remember him fondly as the student who bicycles off into the lush, marshmallow Oxford sunset with Carey Mulligan in An Education. Ahem.
Anyway, the point is, Norton has just jumped from an outrageous 20/1 to 4/7 odds according to the Sydney Morning Herald, placing him as a firm favourite to take over the Bond gig when Craig hangs up his Walther PPK.
Tom Hiddleston was previously the sure bet, and although he still sits at 4/1 odds those in the know think he may have scarpered his chances the second he shrugged on that ‘I <3 T.S’ tank on Monday.
Still, anything is possible in the bloated, overcrowded race that is finding someone to compellingly utter lines like “Bond, James Bond” and “shaken, not stirred” over and over again. Idris Elba and Tom Hardy’s names are still in the ring, as is Jamie Bell, Henry Cavill and, somewhat bewilderingly, Bradley Cooper. (Surely not).
But at least one name has been ruled out. The internet’s boyfriend Aidan Turner – or the hot dwarf from The Hobbit and the man bringing sexy back to the BBC in Poldark – is almost certainly out of the race. He has just signed on to do a third series of Poldark (despite the much-anticipated second series still awaiting an airdate, get your act together TV commissioning powers that be!), which means he probably can’t commit to the mammoth shooting schedule of a James Bond film.
This isn’t a James Bond pun, but the game is most certainly afoot.