Tom Hiddleston
Tom Hiddleston is overwhelmed by the speculation that he will follow in the footsteps of Sean Connery and Daniel CriagJohn Phillips / Getty

Actor Tom Hiddleston has said he wants speculation that he is a key contender to play the next James Bond to stop. The Night Manager star said the unrelenting conjecture is becoming "overwhelming". Hiddleston is the bookies' favourite for the role ahead of Tom Hardy, Damian Lewis, Idris Elba, Aidan Turner and Henry Cavill.

Speaking at the US premiere of the hit TV series in Los Angeles on Tuesday (5 April) night, he said: "People have very strong opinions about Bond and why shouldn't they? But it's difficult to talk about because it's a completely unreal conversation in a way."

He revealed he has had no discussions with the filmmakers behind the iconic Bond franchise. He said the rumours are without foundation.

"I haven't spoken to anyone who makes those films. It's just an idea in people's minds so it's quite hard to engage with because it hasn't come from me if that makes sense. It's odd because it's becoming overwhelming - not the thing of it, but the number of people per day who bring it up, it's actually becoming a weird thing to deal with.

"I feel like, I want to just make it stop because I have no power over it, but that's what being famous is. You have no power over other people's opinions."

In an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel's US chat show on Tuesday (22 March) he discussed the 10/1 odds that he's down to replace Daniel Craig. "Who's gonna be James Bond?' is one of the nation's favourite pub conversations, up there with 'Who's gonna win X Factor?' and 'Is Britain gonna leave the EU?'"

"I play a British spy in The Night Manager so people, I think, have made the link. I mean, as somebody who grew up with Sean Connery and Roger Moore, when you mention it there's a part of me that goes, 'Really? Are you kidding?" he added.

Earlier, Dame Judi Dench, who plays spy boss M in the films fueled the rumour mill as she backed Hiddleston as a favorite to take on the coveted role. She said: "It's a really difficult role to take on and I feel Tom might be the one to do it."

While speculation about who might take on the role of the martini-swilling secret agent is ongoing, Daniel Craig is yet to officially rule himself out of returning as 007 after last year's blockbuster hit, Spectre.