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R4 programme follows war artist

BBC Radio 4 will broadcast a two-part programme featuring the audio diaries of a modern day war artist on Remembrance Sunday this week.

The documentary strand has been produced by indie Made in Manchester and follows Xavier Pick while he was with British troops in Iraq.

In War and Paint: the Diary of a Modern Day War Artist follows his experiences when he spent six weeks with the British troops as they neared the end of their mission in Basra.

The programmes will air on Remembrance Sunday (November 14th) with the first being broadcast immediately after coverage from the Cenotaph at 11.45am. Part 2 will go out at 2.45pm that afternoon.

Executive Producer and Made In Manchester Creative Director Ashley Byrne says: "As a guest of the Ministry of Defence, Xavier was given 24 hour access and produced hundreds of sketches and paintings of the things he witnessed.

"He also documented his trip on tape and in these programmes Radio 4 listeners are given an audio snap shot of what he felt about what he saw as he toured the war zone."

Producer Daniel Manicolo adds: "In an intimate and moving portrait of day to day life for the troops, he captures the spirit of life in Iraq at a crossroads for both the British military and the Iraqi people."

The programme will also be accompanied online on the BBC News website by a selection of Xavier’s paintings from his trip.

This series is just the latest in a long line of programmes produced by Made in Manchester about Iraq. MIM’s Baghdad Boy (about Iraq War survivor Ali Abbas) airs on the World Service this week while the company won a special award for its 5Live documentary Gay Life After Saddam (which charted the rise in killings of gay people in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein) earlier this year.

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