Comet country actor to play Q in Bond film Skyfall

FORMER Comet country school pupil Ben Whishaw has been cast as Q in the new Bond film Skyfall.

Ben, who was born in Clifton and attended Henlow Middle School and Clifton’s Samuel Whitbread Community College, will follow in the footsteps of actor John Cleese as 007’s gadget designer.

At the age of 31, Whishaw is more than a decade younger than Bond actor Daniel Craig – a first for the Q character.

Ben was a member of the Bancroft Players Youth Theatre at Hitchin’s Queen Mother Theatre. Perhaps most notably he played concentration camp survivor Primo Levi in If This is a Man – a play which was taken to the Edinburgh Festival in 1995, where it was well received.

In 2004, Ben graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and landed the role of Hamlet in Trevor Nunn’s 2004 production.

The actor has also played Ariel in Julie Taymor’s film adaptation of The Tempest, opposite Dame Helen Mirren, and recently starred in the BBC’s 1950s news drama The Hour.

He is due to play Richard II in a new BBC Shakespeare adaptation, which is part of next year’s cultural programming to coincide with the Olympics.

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Skyfall, the 23rd Bond film, is due out next year.