Date: 2nd December 2004

James Bond bets stopped

Bookies have halted betting on the new James Bond after punters backed Colin Salmon to be the first black 007.

Ladbrokes feared a sting after they took six bets of up to 500 each in just an hour.

The odds crashed from 20-1 to 6-1. Colin, 42, has played M's right-hand man in the last three Bond films.

He also stood in for outgoing 007 Pierce Brosnan when girls were being auditioned.

The identity of the new James Bond is one of the most closely guarded secrets in the film industry.

A Ladbrokes spokesman said: "In the last 24 hours we have had a number of inquiries about Colin Salmon being the next Bond. We have been forced to close the book for the time being."

He added: "We are inclined to belive that there is something fishy going on and there are spies out there who know more than we do."

Source: Press Release