A gallery featuring the works of a former art fraudster will welcome the man himself.

William ‘Billy’ Mumford - aka Billy the Brush - who was jailed for forgery and is now a reformed character, is coming to Bridport this weekend.

He will be welcomed by his old friend James Hartey who opened the Global Art Gallery earlier this year at St Michael’s Trading Estate. Mr Mumford’s work features alongside modern and vintage art and antiques.

He will make a guest appearance at the gallery tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday from 11am-3pm.

Mr Mumford rose to prominence in the 1990s when he painted near-exact versions of the works of L.S Lowry, Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso among others and passed them off as originals.

He was eventually jailed for two years after putting more than £6

million in fake works through some of the art world’s best-known auction houses.

Mr Mumford now recreates these pieces legitimately under his own name, complete with a certificate of authenticity.

Recent buyers of his work include the actress Catherine Zeta Jones and footballer John Terry.

Mr Mumford’s large on sale ‘Going Straight’ exhibition arrived in Bridport in May this year.

Mr Hartey said: “Since then, there has been spectacular interest and sales of his work to the extent that my collection of six years has seen half of it sold within 12 weeks and mostly to appreciative Bridport residents and their friends. Billy’s work has been snapped up by aristocrats, celebrities and millionaires but it is his sales to locals that excites him the most.

"Many people come to the gallery without a reason to buy a painting, but Billy’s story ignites excitement within them to the extent that they return with friends and family to repeat the experience, this in turn gives Billy the most satisfaction.

“As a thing of beauty on a wall at home, his work comes alive but there is also a huge investment potential involved with the scarcity of Billy’s work increasing daily.”

Mr Hartey has written a book about Mr Mumford’s life, ‘Billy Mumford: The world’s most prolific art forger’, which he said had been selling fast since he opened the Bridport gallery.

Mr Hartey said: “We look forward to welcoming and chatting to current buyers and collectors as well as new friends who are curious to see what all the fuss is about.”