A NEW biography, A Surgeon and a Maverick, gives an unprecedented insight into the life and work of legendary cardiac surgeon and scientist Magdi Yacoub.

Famed as one of the pioneers of heart and lung transplantation, he broke new ground with his daring but skilfully performed procedures.

Forty years ago, he became a household name following his transformation of the treatment of children with congenital heart disease.

He performed some of the first heart transplants in Britain and the first heart-lung transplants in Europe.

At Harefield Hospital, he created the greatest heart transplant centre in the world.

He treated leading names from the worlds of politics and entertainment and developed a friendship with Princess Diana, who sat in on two of his cardiac operations.

Among his patients are men and women who are still thriving more than 35 years after he gave them new hope.

An outsider who succeeded against the odds, at times he clashed with the medical establishment in London.

Jurnalists Simon Pearson and Fiona Gorman follow the remarkable life of Yacoub from his formative years in Egypt to his long and distinguished career in Britain, leading to his knighthood in 1992, and his 2014 award from the Queen of the Order of Merit.

The biography recounts how Yacoub pioneered great advances in heart surgery and transformed the lives of so many who previously would not have survived.

Published by the American University in Cairo Press, £24.95.