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Eager: Gazza puts the finishing touches to a portrait of long time friend Jimmy "five bellies" Gardner after signing the contract with Waygood.

The troubled football star Paul Gascoigne took everyone by surprise when he signed a six-month studio deal with Waygood Studios in Byker.

As part of his rehabilitation Gazza has been encouraged to persue his artistic interests which he has kept quiet over the years.

But some Newcastle artists have been angered by the move. Local artist Kevin Banks of Gosforth said "some of us have been waiting for years for a sniff of a studio and it's ridiculous that the Waygood has jumped on the celebrity bandwagon in this fashion".

It's not clear whether Mr.Gascoigne of the Hilton Hotel, Gateshead will stay on after his six month contract expires in the summer. However speculation is rife that Gazza is being lined up for a permanent move to Waygood's new premises on High Bridge Street in 2010.

Gazza at the Waygood