The late Alan Rickman's diaries are to be published after his pal, actor Neil Pearson, secured the rights to the star's archive from his widow Rima Horton.

Rickman passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2016 after a storied career that included roles in the Harry Potter films, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and Love Actually.

Pearson, who owns his own rare books company, tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper that the diaries, which run from 1992 until 2016, will include his thoughts on screen roles, as well as details about his personal life and star-studded circle of friends.

"They are a detailed record of his career and remarkable life," the actor turned book dealer says, revealing he has concluded a deal with Cannongate to publish the diaries.

Pearson was close to Rickman having been mentored by the star early in his career - but he did not know his pal had been keeping diaries until after his death, aged 69.

"Alan sort of adopted me when I was 20 at the Royal Shakespeare," he says of his relationship with the late star. "He scooped me up into his circle and we were very close friends for life. He loved to look out for young talent as they were a sort of children for him. He would also come to see everything I did on stage."

A publication date for the diaries is yet to be announced.