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Thousands of people visit Rochester's Dickens Festival

A parade through the town kicked off the festival Credit: ITV news

Thousands of people are expected to visit Rochester's Dickens Festival, which started today. The event kicked off with the annual parade. This year's theme was Oliver Twist.

Dicken's "Fagin" joins the crowd Credit: ITV news

Dickens enthusiasts, strolling players, re-enactors, Dickensian 'characters', join the public in a Festival to commemorate and celebrate the life of Charles Dickens. The event also includes readings, competitions, re-enactments and street entertainment

Charles Dickens spent much of his childhood in Medway while his father worked at the Dockyards. Many of his novels and characters have been based on the places he visited and people he met whilst living in the area. Medway is proud of its history with this national legend, who created some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and remains generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period.

Rochester pays homage to its famous author

He's Rochester's most famous resident, and this weekend author Charles Dickens is being remembered along with his famous characters and novels. The Dickens Festival attracts thousands of people each year. Andrea Thomas spoke to Medway Council's events manager Carl Madjitey and Steve Martin from the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship. Oh, and a rather risque group of enthusiasts!

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Electro Velvet thank fans for support after dismal result

Electro Velvet failed to shine finishing with just 5 points Credit: PA

Electro Velvet was the UK's worst performing Eurovision entry for twelve years but today thanked fans.

Earlier Bianca Nicholas had told ITV Meridian how she had been supported by local people from all over Kent.

Electro Velvet said in a statement:

"Obviously it is disappointing to finish on the right hand side of the board but we have had the most amazing, brilliant, unforgettable time being part of this unique competition in this special year.

"We put our hearts and souls into representing our country and would like to thank everyone back at home and around the world that got behind us, it really means a lot and of course we also want to congratulate Sweden and Mans Zelmerlow on their well-deserved victory."

– Electro Velvet

Kent singer lights up but fails to shine in Eurovision

Bianca Nicholas and Alex Larke as Electro Velvet Credit: PA

It was a mixed night for the region at Eurovision last night in Vienna. Kent singer Bianca Nicholas, was one half of our entry Electro Velvet, only managed 5 points coming 24th out of 27 countries. It was among our worst ever results.

The Norwegian entry.....from Shoreham Credit: PA

Meanwhile the Norway entry who is known as Morland and comes from Shoreham in Sussex did much better and was in 8th place.

The victorious Swedish performance Credit: PA

The winner was Sweden who will host the contest next year. The Eurovision Song Contest is the biggest singing contest in the world with 200 million viewers.

Welcoming in the Watercress

A town in Hampshire was a sea of green today - as the twelfth annual Watercress Festival was held. The event at Alresford is famous for its street parade. Morris dancers joined the Watercress King and Queen to distribute the first of the season's watercress harvest. Our reporter Andrew Pate was there too.

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