A FORMER bus driver from Newport has come out of retirement for one last job - stepping in at the last minute to star in a fast food advertisement in America.

Alan Hartley drove buses in Newport for many years until retiring in 1999.

He, along with wife of 43 years Doreen, has been enjoying travelling the world ever since.

However, on Thursday (February 9), their visit to Cape Canaveral in Florida took a rather unexpected turn.

Cape Canaveral, known worldwide as the home of the US space programme, is also a nature haven and the Hartleys were about to take a trip to the local manatee sanctuary.

Upon arrival, however, they were told they would not be able to bring their easels into the sanctuary "for safety reasons".

"This is the country who fully legalize machine guns," Mrs Hartley said.

"So we left and opted for a stroll along the local boardwalks."

It was while walking along the boardwalk that the couple a film crew and, to Mr Hartley's delight, an iconic yellow American schoolbus.

It turned out the bus had recently been used in a film starring Tom Cruise.

"Before I knew it, I could see Alan climbing in," Mrs Hartley said, assuming he'd been allowed a closer look on account of his keen interest.

"Next, a man in a black t-shirt, a headset with a radio appeared to tell me something," she said.

"The bus was being used in a new advert being filmed for the Subway chain of sandwiches."

It transpired that the original driver had left the set with a bad stomach and had not returned.

"They had asked Alan if he would drive the bus," she said.

"Even more surprising, he said yes.

"They did about ten takes of it, but with the time to reset the cameras and actors it took about twenty minutes each time.

"I stood there and watched for over three hours."

Mrs Hartley said that the crew did not specify whether the advert will play in the UK.

"Unfortunately, they didn't really give us any information about it other than it would enter post-production on February 20, be ready for TV by March," she said.

"We will look out for it. Alan had a lot of fun."