In a desperate effort to appear ‘woke’, a number of high profile people including Keir Starmer have asked why the next James Bond shouldn’t be played by a female?

So in an effort not to appear woke I say it shouldn’t for the same reason Jim Broadbent or Sir Patrick Stewart shouldn’t play Miss Marple. It would be disrespectful to the authors whose talent, imagination and endeavour created these characters. Also James Bond and Jane Marple have some subtle clues in their names.

Of course we need more good female roles in film and TV and I would argue that the Sally Wainwright created Catherine Cawood (Happy Valley) or the Killing Eve characters by Phoebe Waller Bridge are far more interesting and rounded characters than James Bond who is little more than an annoying smart arse who can do everything and is immortal no matter what the critics said about Daniel Craig’s portrayal - or schoolteacher Bond as I prefer.

Richard Whiteside