Sir Sean Connery has revealed that he is quitting show business for good - after he has made one last film. The 75-year-old former James Bond star is providing the voiceover for Billi the Vet, an animated film made by the cartoon company Glasgow Animation.
The production will be his final outing in the film world. "I have retired for good," he said. It marks the end of half a century in the business for the one-time milkman and male model - his film career began with a part as an extra in the 1955 Errol Flynn drama Lilacs in the Spring.
But while Connery may have had enough of Hollywood, the feeling is not mutual. In June, the star will be awarded the American Film Institute's lifetime achievement award. Connery said: "It means a tremendous amount, especially because of some of the things I've said about Hollywood."
Sir Sean Connery's appearance on Monday night at the Dressed to Kilt fashion show in New York, part of the Tartan Week 2006 promotion, was his first public outing since he had surgery to remove a tumour from a kidney. The event was organised by his charity Friends of Scotland and partly sponsored by the Scottish Executive.
The Bond star, whose tumour was found to be benign after an operation in New York, said: "It's been a bit rough since Christmas, but I'm perfectly OK. I feel well."
Connery later revealed in an interview how his next and final film - his 76th - came about following a meeting with Tessa Hartmann, a Scottish PR executive, in the office of the Rangers chairman, David Murray.
"She sent me the script and it worked out really well," he said.
"Glasgow Animation was doing everything themselves from page one and it's expensive ... the animation business is a very expensive market." Connery went on: "The film touches everyone - three-year-olds, grandparents and babysitters will all understand. Billi thinks he's smart, and he's not really."
The film will be based in Scotland, a fact that Connery said "gives an insight into a lot of Scottish characteristics and our humour". The actor offered his voice for free to the company behind the production. He said: "The animated film is a different direction for me and I'm also working on a history book."
Connery, who lives in the Bahamas with his wife, Micheline, confirmed he would never return to Scotland to live permanently. "If I was going to live in Scotland, I would have been there years ago," he said.