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Teesside star Jamie Bell has been tipped to be the next James Bond.

The Billy Elliot and Rocket Man actor, from Billingham, has been priced 18-1 for the role, alongside the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tom Hiddleston. Now 36, Bell rose to fame as a boy dancer in the hit film Billy Elliot, winning a BAFTA for his performance opposite Julie Walters.

But it’s his latest career-bolstering appearance as a CIA agent in Amazon Prime film Without Remorse that has put him among the hottest tips to play 007, backed by bookmaker William Hill. Speculation has been rife as to who will step into Daniel Craigs’ shoes, after he departed from the series following the release of No Time to Die late last year. Frontrunners include Bridgerton’s Regé-Jean Page (9-4) and Idris Elba (9-2).

Read more: The Bridgerton filming location that’s just an hour to visit from Teesside

He shot to fame as an 11-year-old in Billy Elliot

Bell, who went to Billingham’s Northfield School and took dance classes at Maloney Stage School on Middlesbrough’s Borough Road, was just 11 when he played Billy Elliot. He spends most of his time in the States now, after moving there at 17 to work on King Kong and Clint Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers.

He might speak with an American twang these days, but he’s never forgotten his Teesside roots. In Without Remorse, he plays a shadowy CIA agent, opposite Michael B. Jordan and Jodie Turner-Smith.

From ballet dancer to CIA agent, he has been described as ‘a chameleon actor’ by HeyUGuys. His latest role demonstrates that he could have the potential to take on the quintessential British spy role – well, William Hill certainly thinks so.

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Jamie is accompanied by the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor, priced at 20-1.

A William Hill spokesperson said on Jamie Bell’s odds: “Some may be surprised by Jamie Bell’s place on the 007 market, as it would be quite a career shift from the iconic Billy Elliot role. However, Bell’s venture out into different genres and films, as seen in his performance as a CIA agent, the 36-year-old could well be the perfect candidate for the coveted role of Bond.”

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The current frontrunner in the market is Bridgerton heartthrob Rege-Jean Page, who sits at 9-4, followed by Idris Elba (9-2) and long-time favourite Man of Steel , Henry Cavill (5-1).

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