Good evening, Mr Bond. I know you like a flutter, and that’s why I designed my latest scheme just for you.
It began with a betting market. So simple, yet so temping. Who will be the next actor to play 007? The entertainment press loves discussing it, generating an endless supply of speculation and punters my way.
Better yet, the options are endless. Maybe it will be a woman this time, as recent films have hinted? Or the first black Bond? Idris Elba looks good in a tux, especially on the front cover of a TV magazine.
Even the producers are unwittingly working for me. Managing the press for their own publicity, dropping names here and there about who might be under consideration. You see Mr Bond, it’s an intoxicating cocktail – always with a new flavour of the month.
And months and months shall pass. Punters back Rege-Jean Page today, impressed by his dashing looks in Bridgerton. But if they are hoping for a quick payout, they’ll likely be disappointed. Daniel Craig has barely left the building, you don’t truly think Eon will announce the new actor now?
Why Mr Bond, you do amuse me! You must study your history: Daniel Craig himself was only announced in October 2005, a full 35 months after Pierce Brosnan’s final film was released. And that was speedy compared to Mr Brosnan’s appointment. Unveiled in June 1994, when Licence to Kill had premiered 5 years prior!
Month after month, perhaps year after year, I shall lay the favourite. An errant comment from a producer, an eyebrow raised to a journalist, or just a starring turn for a new name and the hype train shall head to a new station. A new young star will have their moment to shine, and I will lay bets on them at criminally short odds. One of them might win, but by that time I’ll have laid so many candidates my book will be greener than your face is now turning.
You see now, Mr Bond: Even if I lose, I still win! Yet here you are nonetheless, drawn inexorably into my web. I see you’ve brought your wallet, how helpful. And your smartphone. Why are you getting that out?
There’s no need to browse the web, Mr Bond. I assure you I am the best odds to back all runners. Where are you logging on now? There is no better bookie than the one right in front of you…
A betting exchange? No, this cannot be happening. It is I who shall lay the punting public’s bets! Wait: Are those odds of barely evens on the current frontrunner? You cannot do this! Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!
James Bond will return. But probably not for a while.
Pip Moss posts on Political Betting as Quincel. He has bets against Rege-Jean Page to be the next Bond at 5/6. You can follow him on Twitter at @PipsFunFacts.