‘I don’t want a woman pretending to be Bond’: Dame Jenni Murray says

‘I don’t want a woman pretending to be Bond’: Dame Jenni Murray weighs in on 007 debate as she insists the role should belong to a man

Radio presenter Dame Jenni Murray has warned Phoebe Waller-Bridge not to be too radical in writing the new 007 film

She may have spent 32 years fighting the corner for women on Radio 4 – but Dame Jenni Murray doesn’t want James Bond to be female.

The Woman’s Hour presenter, 69, warned Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the Fleabag star helping to write the new 007 film, not to be too radical.

She told an audience at Henley Literary Festival that she wanted to see the next Bond film ‘because there are hints that she’s a woman – I’m not sure I approve of that. No, no,’

Revealing that her mother let her sneak into a cinema at 14 to see a Bond film, she said she used to dream of being like the dashing spy.

‘I didn’t want to be any of the birds with the black ribbons round their necks or emerging from the sea with bikinis,’ she added. ‘I wanted to be like Bond. But I don’t want a woman pretending to be Bond.’

Dame Jenni also said that after gastric surgery she is content with her weight at 14 stone.

Waller-Bridge won three Emmy Awards for her series Fleabag last week and was brought in to join the new James Bond to ‘liven’ the script in April

‘I’m perfectly happy at the age of 69 to weigh this amount because I don’t want to look like Nigel Lawson. You know, when he went on a really serious diet his face collapsed.’

The next Bond film, No Time To Die, will be Daniel Craig’s last as the spy, but the start of the action finds him in retirement with Agent Nomi, played by black actress Lashana Lynch, bearing both his 007 agent number and his licence to kill.

‘And I remember Barbara Cartland saying to me years and years and years ago, ‘Jenni, you know, when you get older you sacrifice your face or your figure. Don’t sacrifice your face, just sit down a lot’.’

The surgery, also known as metabolic surgery, reduced her stomach size as opposed to a more restrictive gastric band and made Dame Jenni ‘feel like a different person’.

‘I had been on every diet known to woman,’ she explained.

‘And I now understand that if you crash diet, your metabolism, your body, just says at some ‘woah’. Because the hormones go whizzing up to your brain and you start eating again, and you eat more and more and more and diets actually make you fatter.’

She has just finished her next book, called Fat Cow, Fat Chance, which is due to be published next summer.


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