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McGregor and Scott emerge as favourites for Bond

Story by: Jack Foley

CHARISMATIC Scottish actor, Ewan McGregor, has emerged as the bookies' favourite to replace Pierce Brosnan as James Bond.

The star of films such as Down With Love (pictured), Young Adam and, of course, the Star Wars prequels, has been installed as 9/4 favourite for the coveted role, just ahead of fellow Scot, Dougray Scott, at 9/2.

Bookmakers, William Hill, put the Scottish duo ahead of another long-term favourite, Jude Law, following the perceived 'flop' of his Alfie remake, which failed to make the number one spot at the UK box office.

Also in the frame, according to the bookies, are King Arthur stars, Clive Owen (6/1) and Ioan Gruffudd (8/1), as well as Irish star, Colin Farrell.

The new list of bookies' odds comes in a busy week for the franchise, which has seen Brosnan firmly write himself out of the Bond equation, and several stars and directors being linked with the movie.

Brosnan, himself, tipped Farrell as a potential successor, although the Irishman has since stated that he would not be interested, and is already being linked with another high-profile film venture, as Sonny Crockett in Miami Vice.

And in terms of directors, it seems that Goldeneye helmer, Martin Campbell, may step behind the camera, ahead of Layer Cake director, Matthew Vaughn.

McGregor has regularly been cited as the peoples' choice for a new Bond, due to his good looks and winning on-screen charisma.

He has starred in action films such as Black Hawk Down and turned on the charm for performances alongside Renee Zellweger in Down With Love and Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge, and has already impressed in a big-budget franchise, as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars.

He has also recently been linked to a return to London's West End stage in the musical Guys and Dolls.

But he is expected to face stiff opposition from countryman, Scott, who has also emerged as a leading contender.

Scott cut an impressive action figure alongside Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible II and displayed some stiff upper lip charm for Enigma.

According to William Hill spokesman, Rupert Adams: "The public love a Scot. In the past, Sean Connery has come top in people's favourite Bond and that can only help the chances of Ewan McGregor and Dougray Scott."

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