Roger Michell claims the late star behaved like "a six-year-old" during the making of the film, for which O'Toole earned an Oscar nod for his portrayal of an aged actor.

The filmmaker's diary entries, which feature in Robert Sellers' new biography of O'Toole, suggest the star was a lot to handle - even before filming started, telling Michell he couldn't work with Ian Holm, so the director recast his co-star and hired Leslie Phillips.

According to Sellers, Michell wrote, "It is like dealing with a six-year-old."

And the director allegedly considered firing his leading man, writing, "I don't see the point of juggling yoghurt with this mad f**ker anymore."

But it appears director and star finally got past their difficult start and Michell has called O'Toole a "special person" in a new Sunday Times article.

O'Toole died in 2013.

Sellers' Peter O'Toole: The Definitive Biography will be released on 10 September (15).