Director Mike Leigh and actress Alison Steadman celebrated at double plaque unveiling

Blue Plaque unveiling ,Cranleigh St, Camden ,16/1/2013. Picture: Mark Hakansson

Blue Plaque unveiling ,Cranleigh St, Camden ,16/1/2013. Picture: Mark Hakansson - Credit: Archant

The Camden connections of literary giant Charles Dickens, film director Mike Leigh and actress Alison Steadman were celebrated at a double plaque unveiling ceremony in their honour.

Actor and Dickens devotee Simon Callow was on hand to unveil a blue plaque dedicated to the Victorian writer in Cranleigh Street, Somers Town, where he lived from 1824 to 1829.

Mr Callow said: “In quite an important sense, Camden made Dickens what he was.

“His early years were a sort of idyll down in the country and then he was introduced to the harsh realities of life at the age of 11, in Camden Town.

“It was not such a wonderful place to live in the 1820s. Being Dickens he forgot nothing and used everything.”

The Mayor of Camden, Cllr Jonathan Simpson, also pulled away a curtain to reveal a plaque commemorating the street’s links to Mike Leigh and Alison Steadman, outside their former home in Brook House.

Cllr Simpson noted that while “in many ways putting up a blue plaque for somebody who is alive is unusual”, but described the pair as “great national heroes and very much still Camden figures”.