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Painting the world’s strongest man

08 February, 2019 — By Helen Chapman

Mario working on his painting of Eddie Hall for the TV show

IT’S not every day you get to meet the world’s strongest man. Yet an artist from Finsbury Park bagged the chance to sit and paint Eddie Hall, who won the title of World’s Strongest Man in 2017 and can dead-lift 500kilograms of weight.

Mario Ramírez Quevedo painted Eddie Hall alongside artists who were selected and filmed for the Portrait Artist of the Year competition on Sky TV. Mario, an artist from Seville in

Spain who has lived in Finsbury Park for the past three years, said: “He looked like a good guy – quiet and big. I think it was his first time as a sitter [for a painting] but he did it very well. I didn’t chat with him – just a few words about if he was comfortable and at the end of the session we shook hands and we gave thanks each other. Nice guy.”

The competition is hosted by London-based comedic actor and art lover Stephen Mangan and journalist Joan Bakewell. The filming also took place in London at The Wallace Collection gallery in Manchester Square.

Mario said: “It was a different experience for me, being filmed while I was painting. I usually paint at home or in the studio alone or with colleagues, in a co- working place, but not surrounded by TV cameras.”

Winners are up for £10,000 commission for a major British institution and £500 of art materials from Cass Art.

The show will air on Sky from February 12. Mario is a professional artist and also works as a Spanish-speaking tour guide for museums.

A walk on the LGBT side of Islington

Tour guides Susan Hanh, right, and Janet Foster at King’s Cross

QUESTIONS about the winding roads towards LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights in Islington will be answered at a guided walk through King’s Cross this weekend.

Susan Hanh has been an Islington tour guide for four years and will be leading the walk. She said: “We will be looking at the pubs, cinemas and campaign groups that contribute to the very rich and fascinating LGBT history in the area. It will be about understanding more of the history and some of the newer campaigning issues too, how much things have changed but how the current times also have their issues.”

The tour will complement an exhibition at the Islington Museum in St John Street called Making the Invisible Visible, which runs until March 30.

Islington’s Pride – A Guided Walk through the LGBT History of King’s Cross – takes place on Saturday February 9. It will begin at 11am outside King’s Cross Station. Other walks about LGBT rights in Islington are scheduled for February 17, February 24, March 9, March 17 and March 23.

More information at

Kit’s lion guards door of boxing club

Kit’s artwork at the boxing club

A BOXING club in Hazellville Road has been given a punchy new makeover overnight. An artist known locally as Kit, whose creations of yellow people have been spotted in Hornsey Road and in the area, installed a roaring lion above the Islington Boxing Club’s entrance overnight when no one was looking.

Reggie Hagland

Reggie Hagland

Reggie Hagland from the Islington Boxing Club said: “He approached the club some time ago and we said it was a great idea but had half forgotten about it. It came as a surprise when we saw it last Sunday. It had been put in overnight. It gives a bit more character to the gym. People have stopped to look and take photos. I am glad to be a part of something that is artistic.”

Kit the artist is on Instagram here:

For more information about Islington Boxing Club, call Reggie on 07786 080 885 or email

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