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Freak success

Enter the world of Mat Fraser, an actor born with seal-like arms. He discovered the story of Stanley Berent, who was exhibited in a freak show at Coney Island in the 1940s and who suffered from the same condition, phocomelia. This set Fraser on an investigation of the history of British and American freak shows and those who were exhibited in them. The result is a documentary, Born Freak (Channel 4, July 11, 9pm), which raises questions about modern attitudes and is a journey of discovery for Fraser himself. He will be taking his one-man show on the subject, Seal Boy Freak, to the Edinburgh Fringe this summer.

Brush strokes

Prepare to paint yourself. No, not with self-tanning lotion, but on canvas. The national Self Portrait UK campaign, supported by Northern Arts and the National Portrait Gallery, invites everyone, whatever their age, to capture themselves in paint - or possibly on screen or in a photograph. Entries will be displayed in exhibition sites around the country and on www.channel4.comselfportraituk. The public will choose winners to be featured on Channel 4 and at the National Portrait Gallery.

Musical jumps

Hurry to Derby Market Place today, watch pupils from Beaufort primary school in Chaddesden and Chellaston secondary school performing music by jumping on specially designed pads which contain sounds waiting to be activated by energetic people - and then have a go yourself. If you jump too late for this, never mind, you can attend the more sedate contribution to the Derby Jubilee Festival provided by the same music education group, ViVA. They will perform Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde" at Derby Cathedral on July 9.

heather neill

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