The film career of Clive Owen is set to take a distinguished turn when he becomes the new James Bond.
He will replace Pierce Brosnan, who will park his Aston Martin for the last time when Die Another Day is released in November.
The Gosford Park star has been spotted around town unshaven and with long hair. James Bond bosses have instructed him to keep a low profile until they unveil him as the new 007.
'Long hair and beard'
"A few people who've seen him out and about recently wondered whether he's letting himself go," a friend told the Daily Star.
"He's got long hair and a beard and looks nothing like his clean-cut on screen image.
"But he has been told that is he wants to go out in London, James Bond bosses don't want him being recognised too often."
The married father-of-two first shot to fame in the televsion drama Chancer. He lists cult-hit Croupier, Gosford Park and The Bourne Identity, among his film credits.