A man who was born and brought up in Blackburn has revealed all about his new life as a jewel miner in Australian outback with his wife - and now they’re part of a hit TV show.

Carl Grice, 47, and his wife Mary, 29, moved to Australia six years ago, where they discovered their passion for opals – one of the world’s most popular gemstones.

He said: “I’ve been a primary and secondary school teacher for the past 15 years, Mary a jeweller, and when we arrived in Australia Mary fell in love with opals, as did I.

“We’ve been in western Australia for the past six years and thought we hadn’t seen much of it, plus I fancied a break from teaching, so decided to sell up and buy a motorhome.

“We kitted it out so Mary has a workshop for her jewellery, and I’ve got a cutting wheels in here too, and the idea would be to go to a few mine sites, get some opals, then do some digging ourselves.”

Before moving to the Outback, Mr Grice was teacher in a number of schools across the UK and Australia, having moved around the country after leaving Blackburn in 1997.

The couple moved to White Cliffs, deep in the Australian Outback, and soon found out from locals that producers for Opal Outback Hunters, a TV show they’d never heard of, were just down the road.

“The funny thing is, when we went looking for a motor homes and told people about what we were doing,” he said.

“They said ‘you must have watched Opal Outback Hunters’ and we looked at each other and said ‘no, we don’t watch telly!’

“This happened about three or four times, but we looked it up and realised it was produced just down the road, so I got in touch.

“I sent them a pitch, didn’t tell Mary, and they got back and said they’d like to film with us.

“The production team were lovely, spent a lot of time with us and made us feel at home and comfortable.”

Not everything went to plan, and the couple had to take a 600km round trip to get the kit they needed to start mining.

Asked if Carl missed anything about Blackburn, he said: “The drizzle, the pies, the down-to-Earth people.

“But actually, there’s a big parallel between Outback Australians and Northerners - very similar - great sense of humour and say it how it is, as well as so much kindness.”

The couple are using the opal to create jewellery, which they post online.