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The naturalist and television presenter will kick off proceedings at the 61st ABA fair at noon on May 24.

For the past 20 years the event has taken place at Olympia, but announced the move last year. Other fairs held at the venue include the popular Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair and the London Antique Rug & Textile Art Fair.

Attenborough, a book collector in his own right, says: “You could say that, after so many years at Olympia, the fair has indeed evolved. Most living organisms do.”

He is an honorary member of the ABA and has written the introduction for this year’s fair catalogue.

In it he writes: “A book brings more than the cumulative meaning of its sentences. It can seduce me by the feel of its paper and the smell of its binding. I delight in recognising whether or not the copy I hold was the work’s first appearance and treasure the misprints or bound-in advertisements that tell me whether or not that was so.”

Around 160 British and international exhibitors will stand at the fair, which can be attended free of charge.

Also new this year is the Vintage Corner, set up by sponsor AbeBooks. In Vintage Corner, visitors can learn about rare books and listen to talks on aspects of book collecting.

Live book craft demonstrations on fine printing, book binding and calligraphy are also on offer.