CELEBRITY portrait painter Darren Baker has been chosen as an official artist for the London Olympics.

The 33-year-old has had to get used to high pressure commissions which have included the Queen and Prince Charles, as well as celebrity works including Ryan Giggs, Jonny Wilkinson and Tony Blair.

But he confesses his latest commission is a very special one.

He is one of just 10 artists nationally who have been selected for the BT Art of Sport initiative, a project which aims to capture every breathtaking moment of the Olympics through art.

Darren’s work will be displayed throughout the Games and will go to exhibitions once the Olympics are complete.

The Moreton-in-Marsh painter said: "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The Olympics won't come to London again in a very long time so this is exceptional for me, I am feeling a real buzz about it.

"I am going to be part of history and that is something special.

"My work will enshrine a legacy - the thought of that gives me goosebumps."

A renowned artist, Darren's works currently hang in collections from 10 Downing Street and the House of Lords to St James's Palace. He is currently working on painting Her Majesty the Queen as part of her 85th birthday celebrations.

He has also painted Formula One ace Lewis Hamilton, former Prime Minister Tony Blair and rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson.

Darren explained: "The BT Art of Sport programme is a key element of BT’s sponsorship activities for the Games.

"Effectively I will be drawing and painting at the top events, conveying their drama and passion. Hopefully that means my work will then provide a legacy to the Olympic Games.

"When I found out I had been selected I was over the moon. I have done a lot of big and exciting work in the past and this is right up with the best of them, I can’t wait."

The work of Darren and the other artists will eventually be sold to raise funds for sporting charities including ParalympicsGB.