At the end of January, Sophie Pecko took a break from her normal, more leisurely-paced work, when she agreed at short notice to do a portrait for the BBC. The double pastel portrait, of former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Paddy Ashdown and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was to be used to illustrate a report on BBC2's Newsnight programme. She received the source material at two in the afternoon, the work to be ready at six, for broadcast that night.
The camera-shy artist was rather taken off guard when she learned that a BBC camera man was also on his way to record the event! Reassured that only her hands would be filmed, vanity took over and she smothered her hands with cream only to discover that the greasy film this left had the unfortunate side effect of preventing the pastels from going onto the paper! Despite this thankfully early setback she successfully completed the work, with which the production team were very happy, and which was used, along with the footage of its creation, extensively throughout the ten minute item, as a backdrop to the presenter and interviewees. (The hands looked good too!)