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Actor Roger Moore, who played the fictional spy James Bond in seven movies from 1973-1985 says he was misquoted in comments in a recent interview about fellow Brit star Idris Elba’s chances of playing James Bond. The now 87-year-old actor who debonair style made him one of the most popular Bonds ever, was quotes as saying someone who played the role should be “English English.”

But Moore says those comments were never in reference to Elba.

The Guardian U.K. reports:

Roger Moore has denied making racist comments about Idris Elba’s chances of replacing Daniel Craig as James Bond.

[Moore] was quoted by Paris Match saying: “A few years ago, I said that Cuba Gooding Jr. would make an excellent Bond, but it was a joke!” He reportedly continued, “Although James may have been played by a Scot, a Welshman and an Irishman, I think he should be ‘English-English’. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting idea, but unrealistic.”

The comments caused a Twitter storm of protest, with both “Roger Moore” and “Idris Elba” trending in the social network over the weekend. Elba, 42, is the bookmaker’s favourite to replace Daniel Craig and has received the current 007’s seal of approval. But Moore then took to Twitter to suggest he had been misquoted.

Moore also replied to a follower explaining his position. He wrote: “@FrediSmith when a journalist asks if ‘bond should be English’ and you agree, then quotes you saying it about Idris Elba it’s out of context.” He also retweeted another follower’s comment:

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