ALTHOUGH one of the BBC's top training lecturers has retired after 40 years service, they can't get enough of him at Wood Norton.

John Shepherd, who lives in Badsey, 'retired' as a lecturer from BBC Training and Development on October 22 - his 60th birthday.

No sooner had he enjoyed his first 'lie in' than the phone rang - it was Auntie calling him back for duty.

Mr Shepherd said: "First I was asked if I would like to go to Plymouth, then whether I could pop in for a few days to run a course.

"I am really glad to have freelance work because I welcome the chance to keep my brain fresh."

Mr Shepherd moved from London to Badsey with his wife Cardia in 1968 - the same year he started as a lecturer at Wood Norton, and he's never looked back.

By then he had built up an enormous amount of technical knowledge in sound and lighting, and had travelled up and down the country to help out in different studios.

He worked on programmes such as Dixon of Dock Green, the Six Five Special and Z Cars before eventually being sent on a BBC sponsored four year sandwich course at the University of the South Bank in London, finishing an Honours in Electrical Engineering.

Next he was involved in bringing colour to viewers with the installation of the first ever production colour studio at Television Centre and the conversion of black and white video machines to colour ready for the big changeover in 1968.

Mr Shepherd says he's never craved to be in front of the cameras rather than behind them.

He said: "You have to be able to look natural while reading from a monitor and at the same time receive instructions though your ear-piece - I don't think I would like to do that.

"I do like having an audience though and I get that through lecturing - doing my best to put over technical details in the simplest way possible.

"The night after I retired I woke up in my bed and was surprised to find I cared more about not giving lecturers than about the technical side."

The father of two sons, Alec and Neil, won't be having sleepless nights for some while however, as he's planning to accept all the freelance work he can get.