British star Idris Elba has been touted as a contender for the superspy role when current actor Daniel Craig steps down, and Moore, 87, was asked about his opinion on who should take over the role next.

He told Paris Match magazine, "A few years ago, I said that (American actor) Cuba Gooding, Jr. would make an excellent Bond, but it was a joke... Although James may have been played by a Scot, a Welshman and an Irishman, I think he should be 'English-English'... Nevertheless, it's (British actor Elba playing the role) an interesting idea, but unrealistic."

However, Moore received harsh criticism after the interview was released, and the actor has now taken to Twitter.com to clarify his comments, writing, "An interview I gave to Paris Match implies I said something racist about Idris Elba. That is simply untrue. #Lost in translation.

"When a journalist asks if 'Bond should be English' and you agree, then quotes you saying it about Idris Elba, it's out of context."

Moore is the longest serving Bond, appearing in seven films between 1973 and 1985.