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What the Dickens is going to happen at the Euros?




Yesterday, June 8th, was the anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens


There was no bunting and, as far as we could tell, no eulogising documentary.

Maybe that's because this entire year is the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death. And it is surely only Shakespeare who could overshadow Dickens or be more totemistic of 'classic English literature'.

The prolific Victorian novelist is, by most measures, the second most globally renowned, most adapted, most influential and most beloved of all English writers.

But that's kind of like Buzz Aldrin being second to Neil Armstrong. I mean, walking on the moon's still a pretty amazing achievement, even if you can see the other guy's footprints.

Plus, Dickens isn't exactly under-appreciated - and he's about to get a Hollywood-size spotlight swung his way.

At the recent Cannes festival, Harvey Weinstein announced that, following his collaboration with the BBC on the acclaimed and controversial War and Peace, he is joining forces with the Corporation once again to produce a TV serialisation of Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.

It's not even been cast yet, so there'll be nothing on screen until next year at the earliest, but it should be something special.

The two cities, of course, are Paris and London and the story of love, sacrifice and convenient doppelgangers is set against the backdrop of the French Revolution.

It also contains one of any character's greatest last lines in the form of Syndey Carton's 'It is a far, far better thing I do...' (which, let's face it, could have been Shakespeare). Plus, there's that opening: 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…’ voted, only last year, by no less an arbiter than Buzzfeed, as one of the 53 greatest first lines in any literary history. Top 53! Get in!

Anyway, it's a bloody good story, and in the hands of the Phwoar and Peace team, it should look bloody good on screen.

We'll keep you updated as this one moves, hopefully quickly, through development hell.

Meanwhile, have a great weekend. We're going Wales 1 - Slovakia 1 and England 2 - Russia 1.

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