IDRIS ELBA is back in the running to play James Bond and in new talks to star.
The popular London-born star had backed away from taking on Daniel Craig, instead discussing the prospect of playing a villain in the next film.
But I can reveal that it’s now considered the next 007, having performed very well in market research tests.
A source said: “Idris has long been in talks to play a role in the next era of James Bond’s story and last year was being considered for a role as the antagonist.
“However, talks about his starring role have started again as producers realized how popular he would be after conducting secret market research.
“He ranked highly among the diverse group of film fans who were invited to attend.
“They didn’t want to see him as a nemesis – they wanted him as a hero.”
Daniel quit after his fifth appearance as the world-famous spy in last year’s No Time To Die.
In January, producer Barbara Broccoli admitted that Idris was being considered for the role.
She said at the time: “We know Idris, I’m friends with him. He’s a great actor.
You know, he was part of the conversation, but it’s always difficult to have a conversation when someone’s in the seat.”
Idris said of the prospect in 2019, “James Bond is a highly coveted, iconic and beloved character who takes audiences on this massive journey of escapism.
“If someone said to me, ‘Do you want to play James Bond?’, of course I would say, ‘Yes!’ ”
According to bookies Coral, former Bridgerton hunk Rege-Jean Page is currently the favorite to take on the much-coveted role at odds of 5/2.
Behind him is Henry Cavill at 4/1, Aidan Turner at 8/1, Tom Hardy at 6/1 and Idris at 12/1.
The actor, who has had leading roles in The Wire and Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, recently finished filming the feature-length film of his crime drama Luther in the UK.
His next project is expected to be Apple’s Hijack thriller series, about a plane that is taken over on a flight to London, which he will both produce and star in.
He’s already as busy as James Bond himself.
HAZ HAS EXPIRED
HARRY STYLES started the European leg of his Love On Tour gigs at Glasgow’s Ibrox Stadium on Saturday night with a big grin on his face before he headlined last night.
But the singer may not be beaming as much until Friday as it looks like he will be ousted from No. 1 on the charts by Kate Bush.
His single As It Was lasted ten weeks at the top, but now Kate’s 1985 hit Running Up That Hill has overtaken him in the midweek chart update.
The song, which originally peaked at #2, went to #2 on Friday after being featured on Netflix’s Stranger Things.
If it peaks at No. 1 on Friday, it will be only their second chart-topping hit after their 1978 debut Wuthering Heights.
WILD HORSES DON’T STOP RON
RONNIE WOOD’s artist daughter Leah has revealed touring keeps her dad focused after he’s been diagnosed with cancer twice in five years.
The Rolling Stones legend had a rare and aggressive small cell cancer that was discovered during lockdown in 2020 after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017.
However, the musician has given the all-clear and has since embarked on a Stones tour of Europe, which kicked off at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on June 1 – on Ronnie’s 75th birthday.
Model Leah, Ron’s eldest daughter by ex-wife Jo Wood, said her father is showing no signs of breaking up any time soon.
Speaking at her One Planet, One Chance exhibition in Mayfair on Thursday, Leah said: “Well it’s what he loves – so if it keeps him young he’ll just keep going.
“It’s like you like to draw or paint or go for a walk.”
Ronnie has been sober for more than a decade and previously blamed his lung cancer diagnosis on smoking “25 to 30 cigarettes a day for about 50 years” before quitting the habit in 2016.
DUA’S’ GIRL FOR BARBIE
There’s something fishy about Dua Lipa’s role in the upcoming Barbie movie – she’ll be playing a sexy mermaid.
I can reveal that the levitating singer has spent the last week secretly filming scenes for the big-budget film in London during a break from her world tour.
But even more surprising than her role in the film is her character’s love interest – WWE wrestler John Cena.
I found out that he will play a merman opposite her, even though he is 19 years older than her.
A source said: “Dua was in London filming for the Barbie movie and really got into it.
“She plays a beautiful mermaid and has enjoyed the role and made it her own.
“After that, lots of special effects are added to make her character look as good as possible on screen, so filming it was a bit weird.
“But so far everything has gone very well and there aren’t many scenes left to shoot.”
I first shared last month how Dua landed a role in the movie that’s due out next year.
Aside from her, it has an all-star cast, led by Margot Robbie as the title character.
Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, Sex Education star Emma Mackey, Bridgerton’s Nicola Coughlan and the next Doctor Who, Ncuti Gatwa will also star in the flick.
Audiences have yet to see Dua act outside of her music videos, but her first on-screen appearance will be in the spy film Argylle, starring Henry Cavill and Bryan Cranston, later this year.
Coincidentally, John Cena also stars in this film.
Dua has been on the road with her Future Nostalgia Tour since February and was back on stage in Barcelona on Friday when she performed at the Primavera Sound Festival.
She has more shows later this month before taking two months off ahead of the South American leg in September.
As one of the busiest women in pop, she undoubtedly has many more secret projects up her sleeve to keep her busy during the break.
They’ve been in existence for 50 years, but CHIC’s music is still unbeatable in front of an audience.
After two years of Covid, disco classics like Everybody Dance, I Want Your Love and Good Times proved the perfect way to get people singing along again.
Musical genius Nile Rodgers was joined on stage by longtime singer Kimberly Davis on Saturday, who wowed with her incredible voice.
The setlist included versions of “Lost In Music,” “Material Girl,” and “Let’s Dance,” which Nile helped create.
Now in its fourth year, the Cambridge Club Festival encourages the whole family to dance together.
With such a good headliner, it’s hard to beat.
AVA FOR PRIDE
AVA MAX will be flying to the UK next month for her first headlining concert as she leads the line-up for London Pride.
The Sweet But Psycho singer will perform in Trafalgar Square on July 2 to celebrate 50 years since London’s very first Pride march in 1972.
Emeli Sande, Samantha Mumba and 2018 Eurovision winner Netta will also sing at the free event on the same day.
There will be four stages in total across central London which will also feature a number of RuPaul’s Drag Race stars.
Elsewhere in the UK, Christina Aguilera will headline Brighton Pride and Mel C will perform at Manchester Pride in August, while Steps is expected to perform at Birmingham Pride in September.