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The prospect of a new Bond means one thing: Britain is still totally relevant | Marina Hyde

The health of the franchise is mystically entwined with the health of the nation – Regé-Jean Page has given both a boost

News that “betting has been suspended” on the next James Bond suggests one thing alone: Britain is healing. You will be powerfully aware that the health of the spying-and-shagging franchise is somehow regarded as mystically entwined with the health of the nation – a normal country, where people obsess about normal things. The Bond franchise is, in every way that matters, Britain’s last truly successful institution, and consequently slightly more attention is paid to who leads it than whoever helms more dysfunctional sagas, such as the Sharknado films or the Labour party.

The latest actor to be linked with the role is Bridgerton’s Regé-Jean Page, who caused one enterprising bookie to issue a statement containing both weapons-grade absurdity and helpful character notes. “Following the announcement that Regé-Jean Page has left his role as Simon Basset, the mysterious young suitor in Bridgerton,” this thundered, “all betting on the next James Bond market has been suspended.”

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