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Mariella Frostrup hosts as six famous faces find their inner artist in BBC1’s Celebrity Painting Challenge

Former Bond girl and acting royalty Jane Seymour and laidback cricketing hero Phil Tufnell are among the six stars whipping out their paint brushes and getting creative on canvas as they go head to head in a series of painting challenges.

Joining them are Union J singer and musician George Shelley, model and DJ Amber Le Bon, presenter Josie D’Arby and master of design Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, who is on top flamboyant form.

Over four episodes the celebs face a series of artistic challenges, from 
self portraits to cityscapes.

Don’t miss the nude challenge in which a well-known face dares to bare!

Please note this programme airs in Wales at 8.30pm.

TV Times rating: ****

Celeb Painting Challenge

Pascal Anson helps Phil Tufnell and Jane Seymour channel their inner van Gogh

Here Jane, 68, tells us why 
she couldn’t wait to pick up her paintbrush and get
to work…

What appealed to you the 
most about this new show?

I always love an excuse to be back in England and I’ve been painting for most of my life, so it was a great opportunity to learn new things.

When did your passion 
for painting begin?

I’ve never had any training but it started properly 28 years ago, when I went through a terrible emotional and financial crisis [after Jane’s third marriage ended]. Painting became part of
my healing.

The next thing I knew, it almost became my profession. I’ve had several shows and exhibitions in the States and have been the official artist 
for the Olympics for America three times. Drawing and painting is 
like my meditation.

Which challenge did you find 
the trickiest on the show?

I was looking forward to having 
a fun, chilled time but, in fact, I had 
a very dramatic situation going on because I thought my home was about to burn down!

We started filming at the time the Californian fires took hold and the flames came up to my front door.

Thankfully, my gardener managed to save my house but it was incredibly stressful. 
I honestly thought I was about to 
lose everything and there I was in England painting a self-portrait!

Not surprisingly, when I looked at what I’d done that day, it was a picture of a woman gritting her teeth and desperately trying to 
hold everything together!

How did you get on with your fellow painting celebrities?

It was a fantastic group and it was lovely to make some new friends. Whenever we had any downtime, we’d all sit around a big table 
and start doodling and drawing together.

I loved Josie D’Arby and 
it was fun to spend time with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen because he’s a master of design. He could do any challenge thrown at him!

Whose portrait would 
you most love to paint?

That’s a tricky one! I’ve painted 
a couple of my co-stars in the past – Christopher Reeve [best known for playing Superman] and Joe Lando [from Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman].

I’ve done lots of watercolours of my children and grandchildren and quite a few self-portraits. I’m happy to paint anyone who will stand or sit still for long enough!

In the series we have to paint someone well known who posed nude. 
I’d never painted 
a nude before, 
so that was definitely quite a challenge.