Sphere buys tie-in to new Billy Connolly show

Sphere has acquired the tie-in title to comedian Billy Connolly's forthcoming "Route 66" ITV show.

Non-fiction publishing director Adam Strange bought world rights from Maverick Television to Billy Connolly's Route 66, winning a four-way auction.

Strange said: "Billy is a fantastic storyteller with a unique voice—a perfect travelling companion who will bring to life both the big and small moments of American history. He'll be travelling beyond the common tourist spots to uncover the lesser-known gems of the epic trail as well as visiting its classic landmarks, and as well as breaking out the banjo at every opportunity, he'll be stopping off for a few comedy gigs along the way.

"I'm tremendously excited about the project and will be working closely with Billy and the production team to ensure we publish the best book possible. Billy's previous book sold very well [Journey to the Edge of the World (Headline)], and with such an aspirational and accessible subject as this I hope we can do even better."

Connolly will be travelling the 2,488-mile route from Chicago to Santa Monica along the famous freeway, riding a Harley motorbike. He said: "Travelling Route 66 has always been a lifelong ambition. It brings together some of my favourite things, my trike, my banjo and America—the ultimate road trip."

Sphere will publish in hardback this autumn.