Crikey 007. When will your new identity be known? 

Honestly, the rumours concerning the new James Bond have been running rampant since it was first reported last year that Daniel Craig might not return as the nation's favourite secret agent. And it doesn't feel like we're getting ANY closer to discovering the truth. Frustrating to say the very least.

It's already been confirmed that Daniel Craig is officially 'done' with playing Bond, and apparently turned down a staggering £68m deal to appear in another two films and now, speaking at the Telegraph spnsored Hay festival over the weekend, Skyfall director Sam Mendes has confirmed that he too won't be returning to the franchise.

He also discussed the media speculation surrounding the casting of a new James Bond, stating that:

'It's not the X Factor, it's not the EU referendum, it's not a public vote.'

'There is a constant debate about who's going to be the next Bond,' the British director told festival goers. 'The truth is - and here's the headline: it's not a democracy.'

Mendes also hinted that the new 007 would be someone that the public wouldn't expect...

SO many names (from the plausible to the downright ludicrous) have been bandied about who will succeed Mr Criag, that all of a sudden anything Bond related just seems like one massive Chinese whisper and well - we want this addressed once and for all. Who will play the next James Bond, powers that be?

Bookies faves? Take a look at the below...

Idris Elba

Idris Elba certainly has an impressive back catalogue of work to warrant him becoming the next Bond, and support for the The Wire actor has been rife over social media for what seems like yonks - so much so that Idris (despite being humbled by the support) has reportedly said that he feels like 'the most famous Bond actor in the world' without ever having played the part.

Speaking recently to Esquire Idris repeatedly down the suggestion that he's taking over from Daniel Craig, stating:

'What could you possibly write differently about that? It’s the most covered rumour in the world.'

And once again, despite feeling championed by the general public, Idris is quick to point out the fundamentals.

'Every single Bond has never been chosen by that [public opinion] and, in fact, the ones that I think are most obvious are probably less likely to get chosen.'

Aidan Turner

Ok, we're SERIOUSLY excited about this one. Aidan Turner cemented himself as the official piece of Sunday night crumpet following his award winning stint in BBC's lavish remake of Poldark, and now it seems that the Irish-born actor may be in 'preliminary talks' to play the next James Bond. While nothing has been confirmed (obvs), Karen Thrussell who produces Poldark did little to quash the rumours when she accepted a Breakthrough Award on Aidan's behalf at the Broadcasting Press Guild awards in London last week. Her explanation for his absence?

'I am sure it is nothing to do with James Bond, but we will see...'

The plot thickens...

Tom Hiddleston

Tom Hiddleston has been the talk of the town recently following a rather racy scene in the BBC drama The Night Manager - the sexy snippet managed to send Twitter into meltdown - but the British actor has actually been part of the Bond rumour mill for a while. While he hasn't confirmed or denied the suggestion, he did tell the Sunday Times that he was already a huge fan of the franchise, and that to be offered the part of Bond would be an 'extraordinary opportunity'.

Now Tom has spoken out about the rumours. At the LA premiere of the The Night Manager, 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.

'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.'

Right, that's that then.

Tom Hardy

Another British actor that is setting our Bond flames alight is the magnificent Tom Hardy. The Mad Max: Fury Road  star has long been a outside runner for the role, and has been very vocal about how much he'd love to play the 7th incarnation of Bond. The 38-year-old actor told the Standard last year:

'I would love to do it. Who wouldn’t? If I did get the chance, I would smash it out the park.'

Grrr, go Tom.

Damian Lewis

One of the first actors to enter the James Bond debate as a serious contender was Homeland's Damian Lewis, and even though he's topped the Bond bookie polls week after week, the British actor has managed to keep us all guessing about whether or not he's actually signed on to the franchise. He's famously remained pretty tight-lipped about the whole thing, although one slip came during an interview with CBS News when he casually stated:

‘Would I like to be James Bond? That’s the multi-million-dollar question.'

Who gets your vote?