London  - Former James Bond star Sir Roger Moore says claims he implied something racist about Idris Elba are ‘simply untrue’.

He gave an interview to French magazine Paris Match. It says he was asked about Elba succeeding Daniel Craig. The veteran actor was quoted as saying the next 007 should be ‘English-English’. Those comments initially drew criticism from some online but he’s insisted the quotes were ‘lost in translation’. In the magazine, the quote appears under the title ‘Idris Elba: le prochain Bond?’, translated as ‘Idris Elba: the next Bond.’

The quote that appears below, when translated into English, reads: ‘Several years ago I said Cuba Gooding Jr would make an excellent Bond, but that was a joke. ‘Even though James has been played by a Scotsman, a Welshman and an Irishman, I think he has to remain English-English. It’s an interesting idea, but unrealistic.’

But Sir Roger insists that he wasn’t talking about Elba, only the nationality of Bond. Elaborating further, Sir Roger replied to another tweet with: ‘When a journalist asks if ‘Bond should be English’ and you agree, then quotes you saying it about Idris Elba, it’s out of context.’ Newsbeat has asked Sir Roger Moore if he wants to make any further comment.  In December 2014, following the hack at Sony Pictures, emails suggested that former co-chairman Amy Pascal wanted Idris Elba to be the next Bond. At the time, Elba responded with a selfie.