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Statue of Charles Dickens unveiled in Portsmouth

The first statue of Charles Dickens has been unveiled in Portsmouth Credit: ITV Meridian

A statue of the Portsmouth born writer Charles Dickens has been unveiled in the city.

The statue is situated in Guildhall and was unveiled after a ceremony attended by relatives of Dickens.

Schoolchildren unveil the statue of Charles Dickens Credit: ITV Meridian
Oliver Dickens with the statue of his great great great grandfather unveiled in Portsmouth today. Credit: ITV Meridian

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Statue of Charles Dickens to be unveiled in Portsmouth

The first statue to Victorian novelist Charles Dickens will be unveiled in Portsmouth later today, on what would have been his 202nd birthday.

Charles Dickens
A bust of Charles Dickens already stands in Bleak House in Broadstairs, Kent. Credit: PA

The bronze statue is in the city of his birth and will depict Dickens surrounded by books.

Over 100 invited guests, including 40 members of the Dickens family, will attend the ceremony in Guildhall Square.

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REPORT: Fagin, the Copperfields and more celebrate Dickens Festival

He's Rochester's most famous resident, and export, and this weekend author Charles Dickens is remembered along with his famous characters and novels.

It's the annual Rochester Dickens Festival, an event that attracts thousands of people each year, including Dickens' great great grandson Gerald. Derek Johnson meets him and festival actors Ashley Davis, Colin Greenslade, Agnes Whitfield and Peter Homewood.

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Crowds flock to Dickens celebration

People dressed as Charles Dickens characters in Rochester
Dickens characters mingle with the crowds in Rochester Credit: Derek Johnson

Kent's many links with author Charles Dickens are being celebrated at the start of the Dickens Festival in Rochester. It's a three-day event now in its 35th year. Hundreds have turned out to see characters in costume, music and later a march through Rochester High Street.

Dickens spent his formative years in Medway when his father worked at Chatham Dockyard. He lived for much of his life and died at nearby Higham. Books such as Pickwick Papers and Great Expectations use locations from Rochester and Kent.

Dickens statue to be unveiled

A statue of Charles Dickens will be unveiled in Portsmouth in the summer. It will be the first statue of the Victorian writer in the UK. The author was born in the city in 1812. The Dickens Fellowship has recently reached its £118,000 funding target.

The statue will be placed in the city's Guildhall Square. It shows Dickens reading in a chair and is being made by Oxford sculptor Martin Jennings. In February this year, the 200th anniversary of his birth was celebrated in Hampshire and in Kent where he grew up. Click on the video for our report.

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