Sir Sean Connery risks arrests if he doesn't answer questions about the sale of his Marbella home in 1999 (Reuters)
Sir Sean Connery (Reuters)

Screen legend Sir Sean Connery has urged his fellow Scots to vote for Scottish independence in September's referendum.

Connery, 83, who was born in Edinburgh but now lives in the Bahamas, said the opportunity was "too good to miss".

Writing in the Sun on Sunday and the New Statesman, he said a 'yes' vote would "capture the world's attention".

He said: "I fully respect the choice facing Scotland in September is a matter for the people who choose to work and live there - that's only right.

"But as a Scot with a lifelong love of Scotland and the arts, I believe the opportunity of independence is too good to miss.

"Scotland has the chance to make a step change," he added.

"Simply put there is no more creative an act than creating a new nation."

The first big-screen James Bond said that he was particularly excited by the possibilities independence offered to the film and broadcasting industry.

He said the "international promotion of Scotland as an iconic location", could help attract investment and jobs.

"A bigger and more confident film and broadcast sector" could help bring about "an inflow of resources and new jobs and training," he said.

Connery is due to air his views again on Tuesday, to coincide with a lecture by the Scottish National Party's (SNP's) Alex Salmond, the Scottish First Minister, in London.

In January, Labour MP Jim Sheridan said it was "nauseating" that foreign-based Scots such as Connery were able to donate millions to the SNP, and that only those who lived in and paid their taxes in Scotland should be able to contribute to political parties.

Opponents argue that independence would damage Scotland's economy and business interests.

Connery is not the first star who has waded into the debate.

Last month, singer and musician David Bowie, in a message read by fellow Londoner Kate Moss, controversially lent his weight to the 'no' campaign, saying, "Stay with us Scotland." Bowie lives in New York.

Watch Connery in his prime as James Bond 007, in the official trailer for Goldfinger, on YouTube: