He's long been labouring to complete a promised biography of William Shakespeare, but now Boris Johnson is turning to a life story closer to home: his own.

Britain's former prime minister is set to write a memoir "like no other", according to Arabella Pike, publishing director at HarperCollins imprint William Collins, which has acquired the rights.

"I look forward to working with Boris Johnson as he writes his account of his time in office during some of the most momentous events the United Kingdom has seen in recent times," she said.

No date was set for the release of the memoir, or a figure given for the financial advance, which is likely to be hefty.

Johnson, 58, was forced out of 10 Downing Street in September, and his supporters have been agitating for his return, although he backed out of a leadership challenge against Rishi Sunak in October.

Rival publisher Hodder & Stoughton will have been hoping he is using his new-found leisure time to turn his attention back to the Shakespeare book.

Johnson has missed several deadlines after reportedly securing a lucrative advance in 2015.

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