Friday, November 19, 1999 Published at 13:53 GMT
Not so secret agents: Clinton, Gascoigne, Savile, Whiteley and Springer
Pierce Brosnan has suggested that The World Is Not Enough could be one of his last Bond films. Here, the BBC's Barry Neild compiles a dossier on some unlikely candidates for the 007 role.
Until now US talk show king Jerry Springer has focused his efforts on presiding over the grubby domestic differences of guests who, if they slipped any further back along the evolutionary chain, would probably while away the hours inspecting each other for insects.
There again, the idea of two super powers slugging it out on a thermonuclear scale while the assembled representatives of the United Nations chant "Jerry, Jerry" from the safety of a subterranean bunker, is more than a little scary.
Special effects and lavish locations may be crucial components - but no Bond film is complete without its share of smoothly delivered one-liners.
Unfortunately, while Countdown number-cruncher Carol Vorderman would make a formidable Bond girl, Mr Whiteley's excruciating word-plays are usually so lame, many of them have to be taken outside and shot before filming is finished.
Verdict: Dire Puns Are Forever
When it comes to last-minute heroics out in the field, Geordie footballer Paul Gascoigne has served his country well.
Sadly, what Gazza has in heroics, he forsakes in finesse.
Any style points gained by slurping a martini (shaken, not stirred) may be lost if fellow secret agent Jimmy 005 Bellies inadvertently drags him out for seven pints of super strength and a kebab.
Verdict: For Your Pies Only
Sir Jimmy Savile
M, James Bond's boss, would have an easier job if all his or her espionage problems could be solved with a simple letter: "Dear Jimmy, can you fix it for me to rid the world of the deadly threat posed by SPECTRE?"
However, since much of Bond's work seems to rely on his suave ability to mingle with tuxedo-wearing tax evaders in the casinos of Monte Carlo, arriving in a flamboyant jogging outfit adorned with jangling jewellery to hail: "Now then, now then, Dr Evil Megalomaniac, how's about surrendering then!" is perhaps not the best approach.
Verdict: The Man With the Gold Lame Tracksuit
When it comes to matching Bond's ability for getting out of sticky scrapes, nobody does it better than the original Comeback Kid, William Jefferson Clinton.
Of course, there is a danger that SPECTRE might persuade prosecutor Ken Starr to round up a few former Bond girls to make allegations about his misuse of Q-branch issued "smoking weapons".
Verdict: Dr No, er, well it depends on how you define "sexual relations"
When faced by some of his more aggressive opponents, 007 needs to be able to turn up the heat.
And hot-blooded celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's notorious working methods are likely to strike fear into the heart of even the most hardened Bond villain.
Problems may arise, however, due to his unorthodox working practices. A simple "pay attention Bond!" from Q would probably result in Desmond Llewellyn being grabbed by the lapels and told, in no uncertain terms, exactly where he should shove his gadgets.
Verdict: You Only Sieve Twice