Three students from the Royal Academy Schools were astonished yesterday when the man who made the fortunes of Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and the Chapman brothers picked their entire graduation show.

Mr Saatchi, 65, snapped up five cutout cartoon characters by Angus Sanders-Dunnachie, 28, the total price of which was £7,900; seven of ten landscapes by Jill Mason, 33, each priced at up to £600; and all 13 paintings by Carla Busuttil, 26, which were priced between £450 and £2,500.

Mr Saatchi had asked for a discount, but none of the students wanted to reveal how much they had agreed to.

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