A Merry Christmas from Alex (and Jack)

The DART team with DS Gallacher third from right.

The DART team with DS Gallacher third from right.

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THIS year’s Christmas card from the First Minister will feature an image by Fife’s own favourite artist, Jack Vettriano.

And the artist has donated the painting, entitled ‘Let’s Twist Again’, which will be auctioned off to aid four Scottish charities.

The canvas features a festive image of a glamorous couple dancing at a Christmas party --and the proceeds from the sale will be split between Bethany Christian Trust, Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres, Quarriers and Teenage Cancer Trust.

Vettriano said he was flattered by Alex Salmond’s request.

He said: “I did warn him not to expect a snowy landscape any time soon as I felt it important to stay true to myself and my style of work.

Festive ideas

‘‘We had barely said cheerio on the phone, when ideas started to brew for an image featuring a couple dressed up in their finery, dancing at a Christmas party.

‘‘I wanted to show the fun side of the festive season – the presents, the excuse to dress up and the romance in the air at this time of year. I just crossed my fingers and hoped that he would like it. ‘‘

Thrilled by the ‘‘tremendous honour’’, the artist added: I do hope that we raise a lot of money for the four charities.

‘‘They all do such fantastic work throughout the year, it’s nice to be able to contribute something and to show our appreciation.”

Mr Salmond said he was a huge fan Vettriano’s work.

He added: “This year’s chosen charities work extremely hard to help others and are very worthwhile beneficiaries.

‘‘Thanks to Jack’s talent and reputation I am sure that they will all receive a generous donation from the sale of Let’s Twist Again.”

Maggie’s honoured

Ruth McCabe, centre head of our Maggie’s Centre, added: “We are honoured to be chosen as one of the beneficiaries.

‘‘Jack and the First Minister have visited Maggie’s Fife and Highlands Centres respectively, and they were very taken with Maggie’s programme of support.