The author of the new James Bond novel has apologised after he said that British actor Idris Elba is "too street" to play 007.
Anthony Horowitz, who wrote the new novel Trigger Mortis, told the Daily Mail that the Luther star - who has been rumoured to be among the actors considered to replace Daniel Craig - would not be suitable for the role of Bond.
He has since posted an apology to the 42-year-old star on Twitter, writing: "I'm really sorry my comments about Idris Elba have caused offence. That wasn't my intention."
The 60-year-old novelist was quoted saying: "It's not a colour issue ... Is it a question of being suave? Yeah."
Horowitz said he was thinking of Elba's gritty role in the BBC crime drama Luther, and did not mean to cause offence. He said he believed another black actor, Adrian Lester, would be a better choice.
Horowitz continued: "I was asked in my interview if Idris Elba would make a good James Bond. In the article I expressed the opinion that to my mind Adrian Lester would be a better choice but I'm a writer not a casting director so what do I know?"
"Clumsily, I chose the word 'street' as Elba's gritty portrayal of DCI John Luther was in my mind but I admit it was a poor choice of word. I am mortified to have caused offence."
However, Horowitz's comments angered Elba's fans, who were quick to express their views on Twitter.
Charles Clymer wrote: "If Idris Elba is 'too street' to be James Bond, then what hope is there for the rest of us? The man could be in pyjamas and outclass us."
Margarita posted: "If Idris Elba is 'too street' then I need to get down to the street where all these suave, beautiful men are," while Matt Haig wrote: "Idris Elba is almost the definition of suave."