Iconic Thunderbirds photographer Mr Douglas Luke has died aged 86.

Mr Luke, who lived in Purlpit, Atworth, spent his career working as a stills photographer in film and television and is best known for capturing images for Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson. He also worked alongside The Beatles on their film Help! with director Richard Lester.

Born in Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex, on January 10, 1929, Mr Luke was one of eight children. His father was a tailor and his mother was a housewife.

At the age of 14 Mr Luke left school and started work in an engineering factory, which closed at the end of the Second World War. One of his neighbours worked at Shepperton Film Studios in Surrey, now Pinewood Studios, so Mr Luke knocked on the gates and asked if he could have a job there.

They employed him as a post boy and photographer’s assistant to George Cannons on the film London Town, where he helped with the photography and had to carry the camera around.

When he turned 18 he was called up into the Air Force and went to Singapore to work as a flight mechanic. He considered working as an RAF photographer but when told he had to sign up for 10 years he changed his mind.

When he returned to the UK he went back to the film industry, this time working as the head printer in the darkroom at Denham Studios in Buckinghamshire. It was then that he met his wife Jean and they married in February 1954.

After a few years he left Denham to become a freelance stills photographer at Twickenham Studios. He then found himself working at various other film/television studios, as well as advertising houses in Soho, London.

In 1965 he began to work for Gerry Anderson on Thunderbirds and was hired as a freelance to take pictures of the miniature models for Century 21 Merchandising, to be used for comics, annuals, toys, and games.

He also did the photographs for the opening credits, the family portraits in Tracy lounge and had his own Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward puppet with three different heads and expressions to photograph.

Mr Luke retired in the early 1990s and moved to Melksham. His wife Jean died in April 2001. He had lived a quiet life since then, but was interviewed by stills photographer James Fielding for FAB Magazine in 2013.

Mr Fielding said: “Having skills of a photographer is one thing, but Doug also had the wit and banter to get along with those he worked with. He had the chirpy personality to chat with directors and artistes, which opened up further work for him.”

Mr Luke enjoyed playing bowls and was a member of the Chippenham Bowls Club.

He suffered a stroke in 2012 and was cared for by friends Brian and Esme before he died on January 3, having also suffered from dementia.

His funeral will take place on January 30 at 10am at Devizes cemetery, followed by a wake at The Crown in Devizes.