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Community / Acclaimed artist to paint portrait of MRI fundraiser on BBC TV show

Harriet showing Stuart Pearson Wright how to knit. Photo: BBC/Chatterbox Media

A SHETLAND woman who led a community knitting campaign for the MRI scanner fundraising appeal is set to feature in a national TV programme next week – and have her portrait painted by an acclaimed artist.

Harriet Middleton started the MRI Maakers group back in 2019, encouraging people to create pieces to sell on for the appeal.

There was also worldwide interest in Harriet’s Hat, a Fair Isle design she made up herself. The group managed to raise more than £100,000.

Now Harriet will feature on the TV programme Extraordinary Portraits on Monday night on BBC One.

The show sees celebrated portrait artists challenged with creating portraits of members of the public with “extraordinary” stories.

In Monday’s episode painter Stuart Pearson Wright is tasked with creating Harriet’s portrait – as well as capturing her “joy and love for her Shetlander heritage”.

Each episode in the series – which also features musician and TV presenter Tinie Tempah – culminates in the artist unveiling the final portrait to the individual and their family and friends.

Artist Stuart Pearson Wright has been called one of the most gifted portrait artists of his generation and is well known for his figurative paintings and irreverent, sometimes humorous tone.

The moment of truth as the portrait is revealed to Harriet and her family. Photo: BBC/Chatterbox Media