Part-time paleontologists from Swindon starred alongside Sir David Attenborough after they unearthed 220,000 year-old mammoth fossils at a nearby quarry.

Moredon couple Neville and Sally Hollingworth appeared on the BBC documentary Attenborough and the Mammoth Graveyard which attempted to explain how five pre-ice age Steppe mammoths ended up in a quarry in Cerney Wick alongside man-made flint tools.

They told The Adver how they came to make their extraordinary find.

“It was a combination of luck and design,” said Sally, 50.

“We’ve got a very good relationship with the sand and gravel operators in the local area and we visit quarries fairly regularly after doing some research

“We went into one site where they were just finishing excavating gravel and in the bottom of it we saw a couple of bones sticking out of the ground.

“Over time we found lots of bones including mammoth teeth or bone and realised this wasn’t just a random occurrence and there was something more than meets the eye.”

But things got much more exciting when Sally made the discovery of a flint axe.

That led the couple to call in specialist reinforcements from archaelogical team DigVentures and professor Ben Garrod.

Before they knew it the nation's best known TV naturalist was in their kitchen and putting on the kettle for a cuppa and a chat about their discovery.

“Sir David Attenborough thought this was something he might be interested in and he wanted to come visit the site," Sally explained.

“He came to our house in Swindon for a day and the first thing he did when he came in was to boil our kettle.

"We still pinch ourselves today, Attenborough was in our kitchen putting the kettle on

“He spent a lot of time looking at our collection and he was blown away by the site.

The couple discovered the mammoths in 2017 and have since gone on to make another major discovery of a treasure trove of rare marine fossils during lockdown, not far from the town.

Neville also found a mammoth skull, only the second in Britain, at Cotswold Water Park in 2004.

“The finds we’ve made illustrate how rich the whole area is for finding things like this,” Neville said.

“Anyone can find this – most of the biggest discoveries have been made by amateurs, people interested in it who just stumble on them.

“Swindon is one of the best places in the country for finding fossils.”