WE are looking back at an unusual claim to fame for a Blackburn housewife from 1979.

Marie Leach, astounded her husband, shocked friends and amazed thousands of television viewers throughout the North West.

For on Granada TV’s ‘Live from 2’ programme on Wednesday, Marie revealed a long-kept secret fantasy she wanted to be a...garden gnome.

And with the help of Granada her obsession came to life with toadstools, pixies and elves. She was taken to a park in Buxton and filmed in a gnome’s outfit, as curious passers-by asked why she was behaving so ab-gnome-ally.

Marie, who lived on Audley Range, said: “I have wanted to be a garden gnome ever since I read a magazine article about what people’s reactions might be to a real live gnome. Then I heard that Granada were looking for people with strange fantasies so I gave them a ring.”