Comedy star and former Q actor John Cleese has criticised the later Bond movies for their over-long action sequences and for sacrificing their British humour to secure "big money" from Asia.

The Monty Python actor, 74, starred in two 007 movies, The World Is Not Enough, in 1999, and three years later in Die Another Day.

But he hinted that he was dropped from his role as gadget inventor Q, in the long-running British franchise, partly because film bosses wanted to please audiences in Asia.

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He suggested that the spy movies, which have enjoyed renewed success with Daniel Craig in the lead role, had dispensed with their subtle British sense of humour. "I did two James Bond movies and then I believe that they decided that the tone they needed was that of the Bourne action movies, which are very gritty and humourless," he said of the thriller spy films starring Matt Damon.