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The Telegraph
The Telegraph
Anita Singh

Daisy May Cooper tipped to be new M in ‘more comedic’ Bond film

Daisy May Cooper - Brian J Ritchie/Hotsauce/Shutterstock
Daisy May Cooper - Brian J Ritchie/Hotsauce/Shutterstock

Bond producers have reportedly approached Daisy May Cooper, the comic actress, to replace Ralph Fiennes as M and become only the second woman since Dame Judi Dench to play the role.

Cooper is an “unlikely” contender to play the MI5 chief and take the franchise in a lighter direction, according to The Sun.

The 36-year-old made her name in This Country, the BBC mockumentary about life in the Cotswolds, and recently starred in another BBC show, Am I Being Unreasonable?, which she co-wrote.

She is a friend of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who was hired as a script consultant on the last Bond film, No Time To Die.

A source told The Sun that Waller-Bridge’s involvement had “sparked an unlikely conversation” about the direction of the next film, which will also feature a new 007 following the departure of Daniel Craig.

“Suddenly, the production team was getting excited about the prospect of really taking M in a different direction. With Daniel leaving, it seemed the time to start looking at changes across the board and the dynamic between Bond and M is at the heart of the films.

“This opens the door to it being a bit lighter and more comedic going forwards – and will, of course, impact the direction the new 007 goes in too.”

Daisy May Cooper - Jo Hale/Redferns
Daisy May Cooper - Jo Hale/Redferns

The character of M was originally played by Bernard Lee, from the first Bond film, Dr No (1962) to Moonraker (1979).

Following Lee’s death, Robert Brown picked up the role in Octopussy (1983) and his last was Licence to Kill (1989).

Dame Judi Dench was a surprise choice in 1995 as an M inspired by Dame Stella Rimington, then the real-life head of MI5.

Her version of M famously called Bond a “sexist, misogynist dinosaur” and “a relic of the Cold War”. She was killed off in Skyfall (2012), making a final appearance from beyond the grave in Spectre (2015).

Cooper trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art but struggled to get work until This Country was commissioned for BBC Two. She wrote and co-starred in the comedy with her brother, Charlie. It became a critical hit, winning three Baftas.

Bond producers are also searching for an actor to play the next Bond. Idris Elba recently ruled himself out of the running, while other names linked to the role include Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Rege-Jean Page and James Norton.

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