Dr No Offence

What on earth will the next generation of Bond films be called? Licence To Dull? Octofussy? Diamonds Are Culturally Appropriated?

I have £10 lodged with my bookmaker on the next James Bond being played by Regè Jean-Page.

When I placed the bet last year, the odds were a lot more distant than they are today.

This morning Regè is the 9/4 favourite with Tom Hardy now a distant 8-1.

To be honest I couldn’t care less who the next James Bond is or isn’t, as I won’t be watching.

Not having a television connected to the outside world, I have never seen Regè Jean-Page in anything.

Regular ignorers of this column – 100 views last week and five likes – will know that I have started mixing up my words which is a time of the signs, I suppose.

This week, I managed to say ‘Bames Bond,’ although it may be an unintentional Freudian slip given the currant climate.

I won’t be watching any of the next James Bond films. In Daniel Craig’s entire five film output, I’ve watched about 20 minutes and turned off.

By the time he came around, I was bored of the genre.

I was also immediately turned off by him turning up on a speedboat for the Press launch wearing a life jacket.

That told me all I needed to know about British society and burst the Bond bubble for me, as impressive as Daniel Craig rocks a pair of budgie smugglers.

I never really warmed to his stoney-faced Bond either. With his steely-eyed, pouty profile, I always wondered whether he was secretly sucking on a Murray Mint.

His cold-hearted assassin depiction was truer to Ian Fleming’s original literary character but it didn’t leap out of the screen for me, and he played it too cold.

I never liked Pierce Brosnan as Bond either. He always came across a little out of his depth for the role and played it too Transatlantic.

A bit Remington Steele. A bit Dynasty.

The awful truth is I haven’t really enjoyed a James Bond film since A View To A Kill (1985) starring Roger Moore, then 58.

Sadly, I think 1985 was probably the last time I was young enough to suspend disbelief for a full 90 minutes.

It makes me a terrible old cynic, resigned to watching the Roger era, particularly The Man With The Golden Gun (1974), my favourite Bond.

If it’s anything to go by, I do see a lot of Daniel Craig Bond films in the DVD sections of charity shops, which is more evidence it isn’t a classic?

At least I knew Roger was hamming it up and had one eye firmly on the fourth wall and not taking himself too seriously.

I also liked the fact that he needed a girdle in the later Bonds and enjoyed the dry delivery of his clever one-liners: “I’m now aiming precisely at your groin, so speak or forever hold your peace.”

A View To A Kill wasn’t the best Roger or Bond film, but it had a lot going for it.

Duran Duran poking fun at themselves in the title track. The mesmerising Christopher Walken playing an electric-haired Soviet industrialist.

The legendary Grace Jones as a flat-topped paragliding assassin, and Liverpool-born David Yip in a supporting role as a CIA agent.

Readers of a certain vintage will remember him as The Chinese Detective (1981), which I liked as a little boy.

Connery was also good but was never my generation’s Bond. I suppose your favourite Bond is often the one you grow up with.

But what on earth will the next generation of Bond films be called in these hysterical times?

They will be under tremendous pressure not to exclude or upset anybody, and the next generation of Bond will need to be as inclusive as possible.

The Spy Who Bored Me? Octofussy? Licence to Dull? Dr No Offence? Diamonds Are Culturally Appropriated? The Trans With The Golden Gun? Live and Let LGBTQ+? A View To An Equitable Outcome For All?

May I suggest A Quantum of Bollocks?