It was love at first sight for Thunderbirds legend Shane Rimmer and his wife, who 51 years on have celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.

Shane and Shelia Rimmer of Thornton Road, Potters Bar, first set eyes on each other in 1962 when they were entertaining armed forces in Turkey.

Mr Rimmer, who was born in Canada, was a ballad singer while Mrs Rimmer was a modern dancer in a group called the Three Martinis.

Mrs Rimmer said: “My agent said I had to go and pick up this new ballad singer from the airport so I went to meet him and that was that really. We started dating almost immediately.

“We got engaged and we were married the following year.”

The pair married on September 21, 1963 in Tiptree, Essex, after which Mrs Rimmer became a theatrical agent helping her husband land his first role as an actor.

Mr Rimmer went on to star in several Bond films including Diamonds are Forever and The Spy who Loved Me, as well as Batman Begins, Superman I and Superman II - and Coronation Street.

But to this day he has fans across the world who know him for supplying the voice for Scott Tracey in the 1960s puppet series Thunderbirds.

He said: “Usually a series has a living life of about ten years but this has been more than 40 now. I think a lot of its popularity is down to the script writing, the people playing the parts and Derek Meddings, who was probably the best special effects man Britain ever had.

“I would go down every now and then and watch them filming – we would record our voice-overs first in a group around a microphone so we got a feeling we were all together.”

Mr and Mrs Rimmer have three children, Damian, 48, Ben, 47, and Paul, 44, whom they would sometimes bring on set during filming.

Mrs Rimmer said: “I took them during the filming of Bond and they would collect all the bullets from the floor. It was great.”

The pair are also members of the School of Economics Science and say philosophy plays a big part in their lives.

Letting the Times Series into their secret of a long and happy marriage, Mrs Rimmer said: “I think the secret is two-fold. One, is the strength you get from meditation and studying philosophy and the second is a sense of humour. You can be as angry as hell but it’s the sense of humour that keeps it all together."

Surrounded by friends and family, the happy couple celebrated their anniversary with a party at their home.