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Anthony Horowitz apologises after saying Idris Elba is 'too street' to play 007

Idris Elba. Credit: PA

The author of the new James Bond novel has apologised after he said that British actor Idris Elba is "too street" to play the spy.

Anthony Horowitz, the author of the new Bond novel "Trigger Mortis," told the Daily Mail that Elba is "too rough" and "bit too street" for Bond.

For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part.

It's not a colour issue.

I think he is probably a bit too "street" for Bond.

Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.

– Anthony Horowitz
Anthony Horowitz. Credit: PA

After his comment sparked outrage on social media, Horowitz said he was "really sorry", saying his choice of words had been "clumsy".

"I am mortified to have caused offence," he said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Elba, 42, has been rumored to be among the actors considered to replace Daniel Craig as the next Bond.

The star of BBC drama Luther. Credit: Leon Neal/PA Wire

Horowitz said he was thinking of Elba's gritty role in the BBC crime drama "Luther," and did not mean to cause offense.

He said he believed another black actor, Adrian Lester, would be a better choice.