Later this month we are welcoming back Dame Diana Rigg to Elstree Studio to help celebrate the cult television series that were produced at the Studio in the 1960s and early 1970s.

I am sure you will remember all of them from The Saint to Dept S and from The Champions to Randall And Hopkirk, to mention just four. Some are less recalled these days such as the 1960s series such as The Baron and The Human Jungle. The latter starred Herbert Lom and had a great theme tune.

The Saint was obviously a worldwide success in the 1960s and made Roger Moore a household name although he was already an established star. I had the pleasure to organise a unique plaque unveiling at Elstree in 2006 to honour him and Roger attended with the last gathering of many names who had appeared in front of and behind the camera on the series between 1962 to 1969. It was great fun to host and Roger was so great with everybody. He was a joker and a gentleman and I am proud to have been invited to attend a special reception to honour him at Pinewood Studios later this year.

The great thing about all these television series is that they often used the studio buildings or local locations in scenes. Movie and television tourism is an important source of revenue these days and we must do more to attract this business.

The Avengers was equally successful and the Diana Rigg and Linda Thorson episodes were shot at Elstree Studios. When they made The New Avengers a few years later it was to have been shot at Elstree but the studio was busy with a new film production called Star Wars. I wonder whatever happened to that movie? I do recall meeting George Lucas at the time and advising him that science fiction was dead at the cinema, which is why he is a billionaire in Hollywood and I am a pensioner in Borehamwood.

The event with Dame Diana is being held at stage 9, which by some fluke is where I am told she filmed her last scenes as Emma Peel 50 years ago. For my part I am the token Elstree veteran and am introducing the music part of the evening, featuring the marvellous BBC Elstree Concert Band comprising of 45 players. I love live music and my connection with the band goes back 31 years. The BBC a couple of years earlier had taken over the old ATV Studio in Borehamwood and renamed it the BBC Elstree Centre. Personally in retrospect I think they should have named it the BBC Borehamwood Centre, but that is history.

Anyway, in 1986 studio personnel decided to form a band and I was invited to their first concert held in one of the rehearsal rooms in front of a very small audience. My immediate thought was these people were talented and I know they would work cheap so I employed the band on many occasions up until my retirement in 2009. In showbiz, talent and cheap are magic words. I used to introduce them at each concert and so after an eight-year break it will be fun again. I was only wrong-footed once, when we visited Elstree and Borehamwood's twin town in Germany to perform a concert. Again I was the onstage host but failed to look at the running order beforehand. Hence I found myself in front of several hundred lovely Germans announcing the first tune was The Dam Busters March! Luckily I doubt hardly any of them had seen the famous 1950s Elstree movie so we got away with it. However, the next day they served me a nice soup at a lunch which I thought was mushroom but afterwards found out it was snails. Thankfully the German red wine rapidly made it a distant memory.

In 1996 or thereabouts they made a film of The Avengers starring Ralph Fiennes and I think Sean Connery was a guest star. It was not based at Elstree but they decided to hire our outdoor effects water tank in which the lead characters cross water in giant bubbles. I was photographed holding the giant hose with then managing director Neville Reid filling the tank with water, which in fact took days. I have never seen the film so don't know if they used the shot. It was the last time the tank was used and is now used as the base for the Big Brother house. Times have certainly changed. At least Ralph was kind enough to help me unveil a plaque honouring Elstree veteran Charles Laughton, but that's another story for another time. Until next time, take care and look after yourself.