Irvine Welsh accidentally sold the rights to 'Trainspotting' to a "random guy" with lots of money.

Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh

The 59-year-old author knew director Danny Boyle was keen to turn his gritty tale of heroin addiction into a movie, and was under the mistaken belief someone he met with about a big screen project was working for the filmmaker.

He admitted in conversation with Underworld and Iggy Pop for Q magazine: "When Danny got in touch to buy the rights to 'Trainspotting', I was living in Amsterdam.

"And I knew nothing about business and it meant that everyone wanted to buy it.

"People wanted to meet me all the time. I liked Danny's film 'Shallow Grave' and thought it would work well.

"I met this guy and he goes, 'Danny Boyle would be a good director for this.' I go, 'Yeah, great'.

"I thought he was Danny's producer but he was just a random guy who had a lot of money who wanted the rights. I sold it to him straight away.

"Danny came back and said, 'What the f**k, you were going to sell it to me.' And I said, 'I thought he was your guy! He had a big cheque book. What was I gonna do.' "

Fortunately, the mystery man was "very gracious" and subsequently agreed to sign the rights back over to Danny.

Irvine continued: "The guy was very gracious about it. He signed it over to Danny But it almost didn't happen because of my short-term greed."

And Underworld think the implications could have been disastrous if things turned out differently.

Karl Hyde said: "Just think what wouldn't have happened. Wow.

"Can you imagine, if it had gone to somebody else? Man, there'd be a whole generation that wouldn't have a theme."