AN artist who says spoon-bender Uri Geller inspired him to carry on with his business, is to present him with a painting as a thank you.

Jim Youngson was considering closing his business when thieves stole a van which contained the bulk of his paintings and materials about five months ago.

He thought about calling it a day until he recalled a chance meeting with Geller, who had visited one of his exhibitions in Aberdeen and left him a note which said, "from one artist to another, James you are very good."

Mr Youngson, from Sunderland, said he was inspired by the memory of the meeting and has now started to build up his business again, this time producing prints of his original works, to avoid a repeat of the disaster when his van was stolen.

Now he is due to meet up with Geller again, this time to hand over a watercolour painting of Holy Island as a thank you. They plan to meet on December 1.

Mr Youngson, who paints under the name of Papion, said: "I rang him up and told him I had a painting I wanted to give him, and we arranged to meet up in London.

"He really gave me inspiration when I needed it and I wanted to do something for him in return."