JAMES Bond actor Sean Connery was given membership number 007 when he joined the SNP.

Connery, who died on Saturday joined the Nats in 1992 and became a vocal advocate for independence.

Retired publisher Gordon Wright, 78, was a neighbour of Connery's parents and convinced him to join.

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The membership secretary who processed it thought it was a joke.

Mr Wright said: “We were blethering over the phone and I asked him if he was an SNP member. ‘Nobody's ever asked me,' he replied."

Oscar-winner Connery had purchased a ground floor property for his parents at West Savile Terrace in Newington, close to where Mr Wright lived, and he joined the local SNP branch.

Mr Wright said: "Sean said ‘OK’, so I faxed him through a membership form and he just signed it and sent it back.

"He was signed up that day and that was that."

Incredibly, the serial number on Connery's membership card was 007 – the same as James Bond's agent number, which sparked his film career.

Mr Wright said: "I phoned Mairi Stewart, our membership secretary who couldn’t quite take it in at first.

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"When she was finally convinced that I wasn’t kidding she made out the membership card.

"When I called at Mairi’s house to collect it, she pointed to the printed serial number on the card which was 007 – quite a coincidence.’”

News of Connery's membership sparked a media frenzy and Mr Wright was glad when it died down, as his address had been on the form.

He added: “It sort of set the heather alight and the phone was ringing non-stop after that.

“I was very grateful when the excitement died down.”

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And although ex-pat Connery lived in the Bahamas and received criticism for commenting on Scottish politics, Mr Wright believed he had every right to speak out.

Mr Wright added: "Like Sean once said, Scotland is his birthright and he had every right to comment on what’s happening there.

"Where you live is usually either your idea or your wife’s idea.

"Maybe his wife, who is from Morocco I think, needed the heat and didn’t want to live in Edinburgh.”

A SNP spokesman said: "There was only ever going to be one membership number for the best ever Bond.

"Sean Connery was a global legend but, first and foremost, he was a patriotic and proud Scot.

"The SNP owes him a great debt of gratitude, 007 will forever be his SNP membership number."