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Charles Dickens film The Personal History of David Copperfield starring Dev Patel to premiere this year

A new film is set to premiere later this year bringing to life Charles Dickens' novel David Copperfield.

The Personal History of David Copperfield features leading actors including Peter Capaldi, Dev Patel, Paul Whitehouse and Tilda Swinton, and is an adaptation of Dickens' story, but does not feature any scenes filmed in the county.

Dickens wrote the novel, which is part autobiographical, while spending his summers in the 1850s and 1860s in Fort House in Broadstairs - later Bleak House. Dickens, who lived at Gads Hill in Kent and often included the county in his stories, described the house as an "airy nest" above the harbour.

The Personal History of David Copperfield starring Dev Patel Picture: Courtesy of Lionsgate UK
The Personal History of David Copperfield starring Dev Patel Picture: Courtesy of Lionsgate UK

Award winning director of The Thick of It and In the Loop, Armando Iannucci, who adapted the story for the big screen, is an avid Dickens fan.

The film, which stars Bafta Award winning actor Dev Patel as David Copperfield - a young man surrounded by kindness, wickedness, poverty and wealth in Victorian England as he sets out to be a writer - will premiere at the British Film Institute (BFI) London Film Festival in October.

It was shot on location in Norfolk, Suffolk, Yorshire and at Ealing Studios, although Kent is a popular filming location, with crews shooting the likes of Black Mirror, Call the Midwife, Les Miserables all being filmed in the county.

Charles Dickens' holiday home in Broadstairs
Charles Dickens' holiday home in Broadstairs

Director, producer and co-writer Armando Iannucci said: “It’s a huge thrill and honour to be asked to open the fantastic BFI London Film Festival. ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ is a film about compassion, humour, generosity and friendship, and I couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming setting in which to premiere it.”

Festival director Tricia Tuttle said: “Scotland’s Armando Iannucci is one of the most prodigiously talented and original filmmakers hailing from the UK. The Personal History of David Copperfield shows his trademark wit and a joyous sense of style - it’s a delight from start to finish, with Dev Patel and co-stars delivering performances of megawatt charm and comic flair."

The 63rd film festival in partnership with American Express will premiere the film - a Lionsgate UK, FilmNation Entertainment and Film4 Production - at its opening night gala on Wednesday, October 2.

To find out what’s going on in the county and for all the latest entertainment news click here.


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