No celebrations for Sir Sean’s 80th? Shocking. Positively shocking.

He may have saved the world countless times, helped train an immortal Highlander to fight for his life and worn a giant nappy in space, but the years are finally catching up with Edinburgh’s finest export: yes, Sir Sean Connery hit the big 80 on Wednesday, though the city’s residents would be forgiven if they didn’t know anything about it.

Milkman. Coffin polisher. Multi-millionaire film star. Sean’s career trajectory is an impressive one and an inspiration to anyone who thinks the Scots are hard done by. He may not live in Fountainbridge anymore (would he be going tenpin bowling of a weekend if he did?) but he’s back every year for the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

But, things are changing. Sean recently announced that this year’s Film Festival was his last as patron. Recent years may have seen the actor attend special public events to celebrate his birthday, but for his 80th, surely something of a milestone, we saw nothing.

A few years ago it was announced that plans were underway to redevelop the current Filmhouse on Lothian Road into a larger space, with extra screens added and the name changed to the Sean Connery Filmhouse. Those plans fell through, meaning there’s little evidence to locals or visitors that we’re proud of our favourite son.

Budgets may be tight at the council, but isn’t it time we did something to celebrate the actor’s legacy? It seems sad that other cities can remember those who make a mark on the world, but Edinburgh saves its cash for an unwanted tram system.

What to invest in? A James Bond statue erected in Festival Square? Sean Connery Airport? A national holiday on 25 August? Free copies of Goldfinger for every household? What about a Connery tour of his old haunts? The tourists would lap it up.

On the subject of locations, I recently discovered that Sean hosted a 1982 documentary entitled Sean Connery’s Edinburgh, which took him to various parts of the city. I hope to have more to say on that subject in a few weeks time, but until then I recommend you head to iTunes and download what I consider to be Sean’s finest film, 1965’s The Hill

You can’t buy it on DVD, but if you want to see the actor getting his teeth into a role, this is perfect, and, until the authorities get in on the act, a fitting birthday tribute to Big Tam.

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