TELEVISION presenter David Harper has donated a piece of his original artwork to a charity raffle, so someone could snap it up for just £2.

The artist and antique expert, known to millions through appearances on BBC shows such as Bargain Hunt and Antiques Road Trip, presented the hand-painted mannequin to business owners Graham and Bev Harris.

The couple, who run the Retro Furniture Company in Birtley, near Chester-le-Street, hope the striking work of art will raise hundreds of pounds for Alzheimer’s Society, a cause close to their hearts.

Mrs Harris said: “Graham’s grandmother had dementia so it is something that has touched us personally, which is why we wanted to support the cause.

“We met David when he visited our business to do some filming for Antiques Road Trip, which is scheduled to be broadcast in March.

“We could tell he was a nice guy so thought why not ask him if he’d donate something we could raffle.

"We were thrilled when he agreed.

“For the price of just £2, people have the chance of owning an original piece of artwork by a well-known artist, and they’ll be donating to a great cause too.

"All the proceeds will go to Alzheimer’s Society.

"We plan to make the draw on March 1 and are offering free delivery to anywhere in the UK for the lucky winner.”

David, who lives in Barnard Castle, County Durham, said: “I have family and friends who have been affected by dementia, so I was very happy to help out.

“The Mannequin is actually a vintage one that I bought from them to use as a canvas for one of my paintings.

“Occasionally, instead of buying a stretched canvas to work with, if I find something interesting, such as this, and use it instead, so it becomes a sculptural piece.

“I’ve called it ‘Tattooed Torso’ and painted it with mythical type sea serpents, inspired by my research recently into the origins and history of tattoos, which is for a new book I’m writing on the British Empire.

“It’s very much my own imaginative take on 17th century style tattoos – the kind a seafarer might have had done when visiting places like Hawaii or Tahiti hundreds of years ago.”

There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, 39,000 of which are in the North East, including almost 10,000 in County Durham and Darlington.

Dan Nelson, community fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We are hugely grateful to David Harper for his generous donation and for Graham and Bev for their amazing support in making this raffle happen.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for someone to own an original piece of artwork, and by taking part they’ll be helping us to provide vital support to people affected by dementia."

For details of the raffle and tickets visit