LONDON: Iconic British secret agent James Bond's ability to unite the British people is required now more than ever, tennis star Andy Murray said in a candid interview with The Times on Saturday.
The 30-year-old defending Wimbledon champion was speaking about unity after a year in which the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union and suffered three deadly terror attacks as well as this week's devastating fire in London.
There were angry scenes on the streets of the capital after the blaze that engulfed a tower block, killing at least 30 people and leaving dozens more unaccounted for.
Murray, talking ahead of the key Wimbledon warm-up event at Queen's which gets underway on Monday in London, told The Times: "Every time a new James Bond movie comes out everyone's so pumped for it and we start comparing the Bonds.
"People know James Bond as being a British icon.
"With everything that's happened over the last year, the country has a decision to make.
"Does it divide us or does it bring us together. The closer together we become, the better it is for the country," said Murray, who came out in support of a pro Scottish independence vote on the day of the referendum in 2014.
Murray, whose mother Judy joined him and doubles specialist brother Jamie in being honoured by Queen Elizabeth II on Friday, said unlike Bond he craves to go unrecognised.
"I don't like being the centre of attention and obviously when you lose a match and there are lots of people around, you just want to go unnoticed," he said.
Murray has been promoting this weekend's 'The Great Get Together' to honour the politician Jo Cox who was murdered a year ago. He agreed with her sister who said his support is just that of any normal person.
"It's absolutely true and that's why I mentioned being invisible because I'm uncomfortable if people are staring at me," said Murray.
"I go out for a dinner and people ask for a photo and I feel uncomfortable with that, it doesn't feel natural.
"I'm very grateful people enjoy watching me play tennis but everyone's the same and should be treated as such."
The two-time Olympic champion -- who displayed super hero powers to come through an epic Olympic final with Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro in Rio de Janeiro last year -- nominated Batman as his boyhood hero but would prefer to be 'The Invisible Man'.
He told the paper he likes Batman as "he is mysterious and I like the cars he drives".
He recalled how he and Jamie would dash round to their grandparents' house and watch cartoons as young boys favouring especially 'Wacky Races'.
He said he liked Dick Dastardly, one of the main characters in the children's cartoon series, because "he cheated and he lost."