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James Bond is dead, long live the Kingsman!

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As long as audiences keep flocking to cinemas, Bond will keep coming back as his old self: posh, sexist and reeking of mothballs.

A macho attitude, stiff upper lip and privileged upbringing have characterised Ian Fleming's iconic spy since the first 007 novel, 64 years ago.

For decades we've followed the adventures of an Eton scholar who grew up skiing in the Alps and socialising in Europe's richest capitals.

We've seen the disrespectful way in which he treats women, we've put up with his Batman-like childhood ghosts, his covert racism and weird taste in beverages.

It's time to call it quits, old chap, there's a new spy in town.

His name is Kingsman - sort of.

His actual name is Gary, or "Eggsy" - a nickname fitted to his working class background, growing up in a council estate in Peckham.

Eggsy made his big screen debut in 2015's Kingsman: The Secret Service, loosely adapted from a graphic novel by Mark Millar.

"I grew up on a housing estate, and the reason I really wanted to create Eggsy is because I was seeing so many demonised housing estate characters," Millar said.

Played by Taron Egerton, the youngster is recruited by a very posh conglomerate of spies, not because of his language skills or his raw sexual magnetism - but because he is the right man for the job.

This refreshing take on a hero's roots sits well with director Matthew Vaughn's visionary style and Marvel-style action sequences.

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Vaughn himself was in line to direct Casino Royal, Daniel Craig's first instalment as 007, an experience he called "a bit of a downer".

In September, a Kingsman sequel - The Golden Circle, will be released in the UK, which sees the young hero visiting America and colluding with cowboys - all while wearing a bespoke tailored suit.

As for 007, he is sure to continue to grab his "Bond girls" by the waist to save them from evil, while treating everyone else with his characteristic disdain.

His one-liners and fancy cars are not enough to stir my Martini - if I were to ever drink such a thing.

Hopefully, new generations will find this dull and uninteresting, like a post-colonial comic book written at a time when people didn't know any better.

Bond was a spy for post-war veterans. Eggsy is a spy for enlightened millennials.

Every generation has its heroes, it's time for the old ones to retire.


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