Leopard will ship at 6pm on 26 October, and now Apple and its resellers are preparing to host special events across the UK to mark the release.

Apple's UK retail website declares launch events across the company's dozen UK stores: "The world premiere of Leopard, the biggest upgrade to Mac OS X, takes place on 26 October. On that big day, the Apple Retail Store is the place to be. Join us from 6pm to 10pm and be the first to experience the world’s most advanced operating system."

Apple is also offering the first 500 people visiting their local store a free limited edition Leopard T-shirt. And every store visitor will get the chance to take a look at Apple's new OS in action.

Apple resellers across the UK are also beginning to go public with their planned special events to mark the launch, which they have been unable to discuss pending Apple's announcement of Leopard's release date.

London Apple Premium Reseller Square Group will mark the launch with a special event, an iPod touch prize draw and a series of special promotions.It will shut its re-vamped showroom at 5pm to re-open at 6pm for the launch - with a wave of excellent deals for customers.

Square is pushing the boat out with offers for the occasion - not least a £10 discount on the cost of Leopard to anyone buying a copy from Square on the Friday (£75, rather than £85).

Customer's buying a copy of Leopard will also have the chance to buy a 320GB Western Digital hard drive for just £40 (half price) - a wise investment for backing Time Machine archives too. The first ten people to buy a Mac from Square during the opening weekend will also receive a free 4GB iPod nano.

Chester Apple reseller, MCC, is also planning a special event to mark the launch. While this event won't take place until 13 November its location may make it the perfect welcome for Mac users in the North West of England: the event takes place at the world-famous Chester Zoo. More details on that event should be made available in the coming weeks.

Additional events from across Apple's reseller channels are expected to be announced in due course.