THE skills of a maintenance worker who turns scrap metal into artistic sculptures will be on show to the nation thanks to a television crew which has tracked the building of his latest masterpiece - a giant alien scorpion.

John MacMurray made waves earlier this year when he unveiled his 7ft Alien-meets-Predator creature, and its baby, in the front garden of his home.

A self-titled “nobody” who has suffered embarrassment as a result of being unable to write, what the 54-year-old great-grandfather might lack in literacy skills he makes up in creative talent.

This is no more evident than his scorpion sculpture unveiled in front of cameras and an audience of dozens last week.

Mr MacMurray, a care home maintenance worker, said: “I’ve always made things, even when I was young.

“I can’t spell but we can’t all be brain surgeons. The spelling thing for me has always been a very touchy subject.

“I’ve always felt very embarrassed by it but I’ve known I’ve always been good with my hands and I will be the first to help anybody. It makes up for things I can’t do.”

His Ash Grove home became somewhat of a tourist attraction in July following the installation of the sculptures.

Shortly after Mr MacMurray was approached by Sky who wanted to document his work for the next series of Scrap Kings, set to be aired on Quest this summer.

“I feel overwhelmed that they want to film me and put me on telly,” he added. “I’m humbled by everybody’s responses and none of it could be done without people’s generosity.”

They spent two days with him and since then his daughter, Colette Little, has been helping out by keeping a video record of his progress on her smart phone.

His first port of call with the crew was a trip to scrap yards - a local farm and John Denholm’s salvage yard in Tindale, Bishop Auckland.

“I went to the farm and scrap yard and got all the gear,” he said. “I was trying to explain to them about what I see when I pick things up, like bars and agriculture items. I saw reaper bars, from the early 70s, which turn hay over and are obsolete, and other fantastic bits of metal. As soon as I saw that I said then that I knew they would be the giant claws. I have nothing on paper and don’t take measurements. It’s all in my head and I know exactly what it’s supposed to look like.”

The giant alien scorpion, which Mr MacMurray has dedicated to his late parents, took three months to build.

Exactly how he imagined, the craftsman made it step by step, starting with the tail, and for the first time in the life of his hobby he was working towards a deadline.

He added: “This time I was under pressure. I was under the knife and didn’t want to rush it and wanted it done properly.”

Mr MacMurray hand welds, cuts and bends all of his materials in his beloved shed at the end of his garden.

It is there he has spent hours nightly and at weekends creating his sculptures and even commissions, which are now coming in thick and fast.

And the only time he ventures into the house is to “defrost” his fingers or for tea when his wife rings a bell.

The garden display was first inspired by his wife’s desire to install a gnome in the garden and Mr MacMurray’s insistence that he would build something instead.

Visitors are welcome and selfies are encouraged.