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When big Brian stopped the traffic in Camden

07 December, 2017 — By John Gulliver

Brian Blessed at St Marylebone church with actress June Brown and Eddie Gaines of Blind Veterans

BIG Brian Blessed and me, small – well, relatively small – made the unlikeliest pair imaginable, as we fooled around on the stage in front of thousands.

No, I’m not fantasising, it actually happened, as we opened the extraordinary bi-centenary celebrations in Camden Town in 1991.

Brian giving a reading of the poem ’Twas The Night Before Christmas at the fundraising carol concert for Blind Veterans UK

To celebrate 200 years of Camden – Lord Camden, formerly Charles Pratt of Pratt Street, gave it its name – the Camden New Journal closed down Camden High Street from Mornington Crescent to Camden Town tube station and filled the street with a fair and a rollicking American organ whose music drew in a crowd of 100,000, mainly as they came out of the tube.

Bless my soul, I discovered on Tuesday that Brian Blessed, who opened a carol concert in St Marylebone church on Tuesday, cannot forget the big day either.

“It was just wonderful,” he beamed.

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