The Irish star played 007 in four films between 1995 and 2002. He was replaced by current Bond Daniel Craig, who is rumoured to be stepping down after his fourth Bond movie, Spectre.

British actor Idris Elba has long been touted as a favourite to replace Craig, but Pierce is adamant Bond bosses will stick to tradition when picking a new 007.

"Anything is possible for sure, but I think he'll be male and he'll be white," Pierce tells the Press Association. "There's wonderful black actors out there who could be James Bond, and there's no reason why you cannot have a black James Bond."

Pierce also dismisses the idea that a woman will ever be cast to play the iconic role, adding, "A female James Bond? No, I think it has to be male. James Bond is a guy, he's all male. His name is James, his name is James Bond."

Pierce has previously insisted Idris is a good choice for the part, saying, "Elba would make a good Bond. Colin Salmon also. May the best man get the job, and may Daniel (Craig) bring home the bacon for as long as he wants."

Colin Salmon portrayed MI6 boss Charles Robinson in three of Brosnan's Bond films.

Idris has previously shrugged off rumours linking him to the job, but was recently caught up in a Bond-themed row with author Anthony Horowitz.

The writer, who is behind the latest 007 novel based on Ian Fleming's books, called Idris "too street" for the suave role.

New Bond movie Spectre is due for release in the U.K. on 26 October (15), 12 days before the film opens in the U.S. on 6 November (15).