Next James Bond: Odds slashed as momentum gains around fan favourite - tying with Bridgerton's Rege-Jean Page

Daniel Craig has relinquished his James Bond duties
Daniel Craig has relinquished his James Bond duties

James Norton has made a name for himself in the critically acclaimed drama Happy Valley

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A new name has been thrown into the offing for the highly coveted 007 role after fans heaped praise on his latest show of acting skills.

James Norton, who plays psychotic villain Tommy Lee Royce in Happy Valley, is seen as an ideal candidate for James Bond by many after an action-packed scene saw him stage a daring escape from a courthouse in the BBC crime drama.

The dramatic moment saw a staged fight allow Tommy the perfect opportunity to dive into a newsagents and re-emerge as an unsuspecting cyclist before heading off unnoticed through Leeds City Centre.

The evil character made the move while standing trial for the murder of Gary Gaggowski.

Norton is now one of the favourites to replace Daniel Craig in the role of James Bond after the 54-year-old made his final appearance for the franchise in its latest instalment, No Time To Die.

Odds have been slashed on the 37-year-old to take over the mantel after impressing audiences and critics alike in the final series of the critically acclaimed show.

James Norton is now one of the favourites for the Bond role
James Norton is now one of the favourites for the Bond role

Ladbrokes have put Norton at 6/1 joint-third favourite with Rege-Jean Page, 34, to play the spy.

Joint favourites at the bookies have Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Superman actor Henry Cavill as joint favourites at 2/1.

Producer Barbara Broccoli and her half brother Michael G Wilson control the franchise, and previously revealed the next Bond would be a “reinvention”.

Fans believe Norton, who also played a starring role in ITV series Grantchester as Sidney Chambers, would be “perfect” for the role.

One Twitter user said: "I hate Tommy Lee Royce with the fire of a thousand burning suns but James Norton for the next Bond please OMG."

Another commented: "Maybe the court escape was James Norton's audition for James Bond?"

A further user added: "After that, I'm definitely sold on James Norton as Bond."