Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 13:14 UK

Festival launch for Connery book

Sir Sean Connery (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images
Connery's book launch is a scoop for the 25th book festival

Sir Sean Connery's long-awaited memoirs will be unveiled at this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Organisers said the launch would be a world exclusive and would mark the end of the two-week festival.

The 25th annual book event coincides with the veteran actor's 78th birthday. The book, entitled Being A Scot, will shed light on his views about Scotland.

Sir Sean is expected to attend the book launch, which comes at the height of

the city's festival season.

Book festival director, Catherine Lockerbie, said a number of other James Bond-themed events would be held to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of 007 creator Ian Fleming.

Exclusive launch

Unveiling the programme, she said: "In this special year it was obviously essential to bring Sir Sean back to the city of his birth, on the day of his birthday, for a world exclusive launch of his first book.

"This is a truly long-awaited and eagerly-anticipated event. This book has gone through more permutations than James Bond has had shaken not stirred martinis - different co-writers, different publishers.

"What we will unveil is a rather remarkable document, written in conjunction with his friend, the brilliant Scottish film-maker Murray Grigor.

"It will illuminate what Fountainbridge's most famous former milkman thinks of many aspects of Scottish culture and life, including sport, architecture and of course the gothic tendency in Scots literature."


The book has been a long time coming

The literary festival, which has grown from its humble beginnings in 1983 to become the largest festival of its kind in the world, is celebrating its 25th birthday this year.

The event, in August, will be the biggest in the festival's history, with a record 800 authors participating in more than 750 events.

Major literary names taking part this year include Sir Salman Rushdie, Louis de Bernieres, Margaret Atwood, Alan Sillitoe and Hanif Kureishi.

Among the other highlights, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond will deliver a lecture and the BBC's kidnapped reporter Alan Johnston will recount his 114 days in captivity in Gaza.

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