The carpentry skills of a Fife pensioner have earned him a TV debut following a call to star in one of Channel 4’s most popular pre-Christmas television shows.
Retired engineer John Milne, from Glenrothes, was top of the talent agent’s list when the call went out for an expert wood turner required to appear alongside TV star Kirstie Allsopp in her popular annual festive series Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas.
John, 72, said he initially thought the call was a hoax but soon realised that it was his chance of TV fame.
“The call came completely out of the blue and at first thought it was a pal pulling my leg,” he said.
“However, I soon realised it was a Glasgow-based agency that had previously asked about me appearing in a craft programme which I’d not been able to do.
“I must admit it I was stunned when I found out it was to appear on Kirstie’s programme as it’s a favourite show of mine and one I always make sure I watch.”
Just days after the request, John, who taught himself to turn wood after buying a lathe three decades ago, found himself on a flight to Devon to join Kirstie and the film crew at a house where the programme was being produced.
“It was all a bit of a whirlwind as I joined three other guests that were also appearing on the show,” he said.
“There was a jewellery maker, a lady who produced handbags, another who produced these amazing folded paper sculptures, and then there was myself.
“I’ve been pursuing my passion for wood turning for the past 30 years and have exhibited my creations in galleries in the past but to go in television and do it was quite something else.
“The director asked me to produce a wooden bowl and once they had filmed me making it on a lathe Kirstie then walked in asking me if I needed any help with polishing it.
“I’m sure it was all scripted but it was good fun all the same and she was really lovely and very down to earth and even off camera was very interested in how I’d worked the wood to get to the end product.”
Just a day later John, one of the founders of Kirkcaldy Men’s Shed group, was back with his pals regaling tales of his three-day television adventure.
Reflecting on his brush with television stardom, John said: “I don’t know if I’ll be stopped for an autograph any time soon but it was great to be involved in.”
Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas featuring John will be broadcast on Channel 4 on December 3 at 7pm.