Johnny Kingdom, TV's wild life duke of Exmoor, is heading for Swindon with a kit bag stuffed full of stories and anecdotes from being locked up in a Hong Kong jail, to birdwatching in a grave yard, and rescuing a three-legged deer called Bambi.

Johnny's journey to fame began following an accident when he was working as a woodsman. He took out a video camera on his beloved moor where he grew up, and began filming the red deer, a family of foxes and birds. He became fascinated by all the creatures that lived on Exmoor and his DVDs became popular so he started selling them at the local market.

"I was selling my DVDs at a show in Honiton when Willie Poole, a journalist with The Telegraph, turned up and bought one. Next thing I knew my story was in the paper and he called my film a masterpiece. That's how it all started,'' said Johnny.

Following a call from TV producer James Cutler, Johnny found himself on the other side of the camera in a programme called The Secret of Happiness, charting his life on Exmoor.

Johnny, who has been a guest on the popular wildlife programme, Springwatch, has now had his own television programmes including A Countryman's Diary, A Year on Exmoor, Johnny Kingdom's Wild West, Autumn Watch, and Johnny Goes to Lapland.

"Lapland was fantastic. I went fishing with a fisherman, we made a hole in the ice and threw down a rope. In 20 minutes I caught seven fish and he caught none. He was the expert!''

Johnny has also written several books including one about his exploits as a poacher, his adventures as a grave digger and his auto-biography which holds the story of his time in Hong Kong.

"I was in the police in Hong Kong and I gave a prisoner a cigarette and was court martialled,'' said Johnny.

He met his wife Julie when she was just 14-years-old and she shares his passion for animals even when her house becomes home to various strays.

"I gave her a cross when we first met and she still wears it,'' said Johnny.

His other big passion was for a wild deer called Bambi, who had been trapped by the back leg near a farm on the moors.

Johnny said: "The farmer saw her and knew to call me. She was small and young and I kept her for 12 years,''

Johnny is one of eight children and has five sisters, who for his 70th birthday gave him a Wendy Box of many colours. "I put a camera inside and filmed 18 wrens nesting in that box,'' said Johnny His adventures on TV include flying a microlite to film a golden eagle and creating a floating hide which got carried away by the tide, with Johnny perching on two strips of plastic only a foot square.

He will be sharing many of his amazing stories with his television producer, David Parker, along with clips from his programmes such as the assault course he built for a family of badgers.

Johnny will be in conversation with David at Swindon's Arts Centre on Friday, September 1from 7.30pm. Tickets are £16.50 from 01793 524481 or visit - Flicky Harrison