Sculptor Dick Budden is also a leading TV propmaker who has worked on everything from Absolutely Fabulous to Basil Brush.
"I'm just an old filmie," says Budden from the kitchen of his Berkshire home. "I have always made things on the side for myself but never did much of it - I didn't have time. But now people seem to have developed an appetite for my work."
Born in Jersey in 1940, Budden trained at Bournemouth Art College, moving to London in the early 60s to a dingy basement flat on the Uxbridge Road and a job making polystyrene props for the BBC.
"This was right at the beginning of colour TV," says Budden, "when the cameras were too big to go outside. We made anything they needed - Greek temples, cliffs, caves and houses. The whole thing was cheap and cheerful and we were even cheaper."
Only when Budden and his wife Mary moved near to Maidenhead in the 70s did he rent studio space to create his own pieces: wooden dancers for his garden, abstract Moore-like bronzes and, of course, his trademark oversized fruit, first for the Henley Festival and later for private clients including Alan Titchmarsh, who recently snapped up one of Budden's pears.
What differentiates one of his props from a work of art? "There's no difference," says Budden. "It is all down to the art mob who want things boxed and labelled. I just make stuff. It's all I've ever done."
And, at 67, he is still at it. Recent film jobs includes Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, The Phantom of the Opera and Sport Relief.
But does Budden yearn to be a household name? He replies: "It would be great to hear people say: 'Let's meet by the pear.' But I don't believe you can engineer these things. I have always waited for them to come to me."
(Biography courtesy of Nancy Groves, of the Surrey Comet newspaper.)