Outlander's Sam Heughan has topped a fan poll on who should be the next James Bond - but a Scottish spy is unlikely

(Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Outlander actor Sam Heughan has come first in a poll of fans casting their opinion on who they’d like to see step into the iconic shoes of James Bond.

In the poll, conducted by Radio Times, the Scot came ahead of more established stars like Idris Elba and Tom Hardy.

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Readers were asked to choose from a shortlist of 20 names. The top five featured Hardy in second place, followed by Superman actor Henry Cavill, then Elba, and Tom Hiddleston in fifth.

Radiotimes.com editorial director Tim Glanfield said: “Sam is clearly very popular with fans and this victory solidifies his position as one of the public favourites for this most coveted of film roles.

“With a host of incredible talent in the frame to take over from Daniel Craig, Sam certainly has some stiff competition.”

However, despite Heughan topping the poll, he is not expected to be announced as the next James Bond any time soon.

Will Heughan be the next James Bond?

Bookmaker Coral released the odds on who is likely to take on the role last week, and revealed that McMafia star James Norton could be the first in line to take up the role as Bond.

Heughan was originally the favourite, but he now sits at second place with odds of 3-1, behind Grantchester actor Norton’s 6-4.

Coral's John Hill told Express.co.uk: "James Norton looks destined to be 007 one day. And our betting suggests that is likely to come sooner rather than later as he is our hot favourite to replace Daniel Craig.”

Also involved in the running to be the next Bond is Tom Hiddleston at 5-1, Richard Madden with 6-1, and Tom Hardy with 8-1.

Heughan denied he was to be the next James Bond late last year.

When asked by American talk show host Jimmy Fallon about being on "the top of many lists" to become the next Bond, he said: "I can reveal right now that I...am not James Bond. I'm still waiting for the call."

After the clip was shared on social media, Heughan told his 561,000 Twitter followers: "Not sure Bond could be ginger...?"

‘Who doesn’t want to see another Scottish Bond?’

Heughan previously revealed that he had auditioned for the Bond role 15 years ago.

“Obviously it’s a dream for every actor,” he said. “I auditioned for it back when they were doing Bond 21 – when Daniel Craig was cast in Casino Royale and I think a lot of actors were seen in the UK.

“And a Scottish Bond, who doesn’t want to see another Scottish Bond?”

Daniel Craig’s final outing as Bond will come later this year with the release of No Time to Die, his fifth appearance as the movie spy.

That film was originally scheduled for release earlier in 2020, but was pushed back in light of the coronavirus crisis and the continued closure of cinemas across the world.