A DISTINGUISHED artist who lives in Malvern has two pictures currently on show in one of London's most important art shows.

Among the eminent who have sat for portrait painter Michael Noakes during his long and illustrious career are the Queen and most other members of the royal family, Bill Clinton, Pope Benedict XVI and Frank Sinatra.

Now two of his pictures are in the Royal Society of Portrait Painters annual show. One is a painting of Nelson Mandela giving a speech, the other a drawing of four-minute-miler Roger Bannister.

The mixed-media Mandela picture shows him addressing Rhodes scholars in Westminster Hall.

Mr Noakes said: "I spent many months working on preliminary studies and then on the actual picture. It shows President Mandela speaking on the podium along with President Clinton, and ten or a dozen prime ministers or heads of state. Tony Blair was there, but he was out of sight behind the podium.

"It will shortly go on permanent display in the Jubilee Room, just off Westminster Hall, and that pleases me greatly."

The drawing of Sir Roger Bannister and Lady Bannister, who Mr Noakes has known for many years, was commissioned by an Oxford college.

"In the drawing I wanted to emphasise different aspects of their achievements - with him the famous run 60 years ago; he has been master of Pembroke College Oxford and is also a distinguished neurologist. Moyra is a painter and decorator of ceramics and whenever they travelled, show would record in word and by illustration every significant event."

The exhibition is on until Friday, May 23 at the Mall Galleries, the Mall, London.