Irish heart-throb Pierce Brosnan has branded the producers of the iconic James Bond movies "stupid" for dismissing Ewan McGregor as too short for the coveted role.

The 52-year-old, who made his debut as the superspy in 1995's GOLDENEYE, was controversially axed from the role earlier this year (05) and speculation over the identity of his successor has been rife ever since.

But Brosnan was amazed to learn the charismatic Star Wars hunk is not being considered for upcoming movie CASINO ROYALE simply because, at 1.77 metres (5 feet 10 inches) tall, he stands four centimetres (1.5 inches) shy of the minimum Bond measurement.

Brosnan, who is a towering 1.8 metres (6 feet 1 inch), fumes, "It's ridiculous. I thought, 'That's a stupid reason.'

"Ewan's a fine actor and he's tall anyway. I couldn't believe it."

A galaxy of other male stars have been linked with the Bond role including Clive Owen, Daniel Craig and Julian McMahon