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spy game Mary Lou McDonald given odds of 500/1 to play next James Bond

Other Irish actors given high odds include Chris O Dowd and Colm Meaney

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Mary Lou McDonald (Brian Lawless/PA)

Mary Lou McDonald (Brian Lawless/PA)

Mary Lou McDonald (Brian Lawless/PA)

Bookies Paddy Power have offered odds of 500/1 for Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald to play the next James Bond.

With the most recent incarnation seeing Daniel Craig play 007 for the last time, speculation is rife over who will take up the role next.

Earlier this week it was revealed Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan could be in the running, with Tom Hardy, Richard Madden and Idris Elba also being considered for the role.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Mary Lou remains 500/1 to be the British agent, with Michael D Higgins, Bono and Simon Harris also 500/1.

Odds on Leo Vradkar as the next Bond slightly lower at 400/1 and Irish actors Colm Meaney (300/1) and Chris O'Dowd (300/1) also feature.

Meanwhile, the odds on Ulster’s Jamie Dornan remain at a fairly high, but not impossible, 40/1, odds he shares with Normal People’s Paul Mescal.

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Paul Mescal. Photo: PA

Paul Mescal. Photo: PA

Paul Mescal. Photo: PA

Topping the odds for the next Irish Bond is Cillian Murphy, at 14/1.

Meanwhile, the latest Bond movie, No Time to Die, has been receiving rave reviews.

The Times awarded the film five stars, with reviewer Kevin Maher saying No Time To Die is “magnificent” and delivered on the potential Craig’s first Bond film Casino Royale teased in 2006.

Swedish cinematographer Linus Sandgren was praised for making the movie “visually astonishing” while Craig’s performance was also celebrated.

Maher said: “He’s a towering charismatic presence from opening frame to closing shot, and he bows out in terrific, soulful, style. His, perhaps, is an impossible act to follow.”

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Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Robbie Collin also gave No Time To Die a glowing five-star review.

He praised the “sensationally thrilling and sinister prologue” and described the film as “often very funny indeed”.

Collin wrote: “The mood is often closer to the perkier passages of the Connery films, and the humour feels contemporary and British: the Phoebe Waller-Bridge script polish evidently yielded the desired result.”

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No Time To Die is Craig’s fifth and final James Bond movie (Ian West/PA)

No Time To Die is Craig’s fifth and final James Bond movie (Ian West/PA)

No Time To Die is Craig’s fifth and final James Bond movie (Ian West/PA)

Another five-star review came from the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw.

Craig’s final Bond outing is an “epic barnstormer”, the reviewer said, with director Cary Joji Fukunaga delivering the film “with terrific panache”.

Bradshaw compared No Time To Die to the Marvel and DC superhero films, adding: “No Time To Die is startling, exotically self-aware, funny and confident, and perhaps most of all it is big: big action, big laughs, big stunts and however digitally it may have been contrived, and however wildly far-fetched, No Time To Die looks like it is taking place in the real world, a huge wide open space that we’re all longing for.”

Writing for the PA news agency, Damon Smith gave No Time To Die an 8/10 rating.

He compared the film favourably to the final movies of previous Bond actors, writing it “ends the losing streak in spectacular and moving fashion”.

Smith said: “No Time To Die is the most emotionally satisfying chapter under Craig’s guardianship and the subtle nods to the past 20 years sever some ties to the past and provide exciting opportunities for reinvention in the future. Bond will return and he or she will be a better person for it.”

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