Jenny Eclair: I hope my new art programme will encourage amateur painters

Drawers Off begins on Channel 4 next month.

Jenny Eclair
Jenny Eclair

Jenny Eclair has said she hopes her new TV programme about amateur painters will “encourage” people to take up art as a hobby.

The comedian and actress will present Channel 4’s Drawers Off, which sees the painters take turns to life model for each other.

Each of the painters gets to vote for their favourite artwork before the winner is awarded a cash prize.

Eclair, 60, said that “everyone can paint and draw”.

Northern Ballet’s The Great Gatsby – London
(Ian West/PA)

“You can do fabulous pictures of, you know, anything that’s in your fridge, really,” she added.

The coronavirus pandemic has “broken down a lot of snobbery about things”, Eclair said.

“We’ve seen people jogging in parks who can’t really jog, but they’re doing it for their mental health.”

The comedian, who is an amateur artist herself, added that painting “doesn’t need to be expensive”.

“I use Amazon packaging, for instance,” she said.

“Canvases are expensive, paint can be expensive, everyone gets a bit of packaging now and again,” she added.

Grand Final Of Specsavers Spectacle Wearer Of The Year – London
(Ian West/PA)

Eclair said the moment in the programme when the life model is shown the paintings people have done of them “can be very emotional”.

“There was one very touching moment when one of our male models burst into tears, because somebody had captured on paper something that he’d never seen of himself put on paper before that he kind of recognised,” she said.

Eclair said she previously worked as a life model to earn some money while she was at drama school in Manchester, as well as when she was performing as a punk poet in London.

She said she had anorexia at the time and was “quite an interesting model, because I was very thin”.

Drawers Off starts on Channel 4 on March 1 at 5.30pm.

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