Collins in pre-LBF spree

A history of the Royal British Legion and a six-figure deal for a food allergy cookbook are among five acquisitions signed by Collins ahead of the London Book Fair.

Publishing director Iain MacGregor bought world rights in all languages to The Royal British Legion's 90 Years of Heroes from Humfrey Hunter. Published in the autumn, it is the official tie-in to the charity, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

MacGregor said: "The appeal is that it's not only their 90th anniversary, but it equally provides a milestone for all the First World War veterans who are now lost to history. The Royal British Legion was created by these men who returned from the Great War to a country that didn't have the finances, nor the facilities to care for them. Today it is one of the biggest charities in the UK."

MacGregor also bought world rights to May Day! May Day! from Julian Alexander at LAW. The title, also published in the autumn, will tie in with an ITV series discussing the history and current work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Meanwhile, Collins' senior commissioning editor Lizzy Gray paid a six-figure sum for two books by Pippa Kendrick. She bought world rights from Rosemary Scoular at United Agents. The first book, The Intolerant Gourmet, will be published in February 2012, and features recipes which are free from wheat, gluten, dairy, egg and soya.

Gray also bought world rights to Fay's Dinners, by "Cold Feet" star Fay Ripley, from Paul Stevens at Independent Talent. The book will be published in April 2012 and showcases "100 simple and delicious recipes".

In her third deal, Gray signed gluten, wheat and dairy-free cookbook Cake Angels by Julia Thomas. The deal, for world rights, was signed with Clare Hulton. The book, set to be published in September 2011, is the first cookbook from the Cake Angels bakery.