Happy 201st Birthday Mr. Charles Dickens!

So here we are one year on from the day that Oliver Twist ™ London Distilled Gin raised an OTT to the great author to celebrate his Bicentenary.

After a frantic rush in November 2012 to launch Oliver Twist ™ at The Star at Night, in London’s SOHO we were invited by The British Film Institute to attend a birthday party for dear old Charles Dickens.

The launch of a nationwide celebration of all things Dickens was to take place at London’s South Bank.  The invite said “Bring a Bottle” and so we did.  Sixty of them!

For a chap who’s been dead 142 years, this guy sure knows some cool people!  Like very cool!  Imagine going to a party and then realising your child hood heroes have been invited too.  Think for one minute, what is the greatest film adaptation of a Charles Dickens novel EVER? That’s right; The Muppets take on “A Christmas Carol”.  I don’t care what the hacks all say, Gonzo is a stand up chap and knows his way around a good gin almost as well as he knows his way around a canon.

So it was that Oliver Twist London Distilled Gin™ was chosen by the Dickens Foundation and the British Film Institute to be the official drinks sponsor for Charles’ gala Bicentenary birthday party.   The room was packed with Oscar winning directors and actors.  Publishers, academics, journalist and a bar full of Oliver Twist ™ London Distilled Gin.

The evening progressed with speeches and presentations, four world premiers of short films based on Dickens finest work and a good old Happy Birthday sing song accompanied by birthday cake.   We even took part in a world record attempt which involved thousand of people across the globe reading Charles Dickens simultaneously.

Do you remember Fagin?  The dirty purse snatching pick pocketing gang master in Carol Reeds 1968 classic Oliver?  Well I can report that he is still alive and kicking in the real world.   If you are a fan of The Bill or Casualty, you may have recognized Ron Moody popping up over the last few years playing various characters.  But blow me side ways there was the great man himself stood at the bar next to me.  “What do you recommend my dear?”  Ok so I added “my dear” bit.   Well of course I had to stop myself from bursting into song and making a complete fool of myself.  Can you imagine standing there and answering “well here’s a little ditty bout gin in the city”.

As at any birthday party and especially one where the candles out number the guests, there will always a few glasses raised to friends who have passed and it wouldn’t have been right not to honour Ron Moody’s co-star and one time acquaintance of mine, Mr Oliver Reed a.k.a. Bill Sykes.

So as the BFI called a wrap on Dickens 200th Birthday party, many a celebrity guest under the squinting eye of Ron Moody helped themselves to a free bottle of Oliver Twist ™ London Distilled Gin as he manically rubbed his hands together.

I stood there feeling proud that our unique brand had been chosen to help celebrate one of the greatest literary scholars in British history.  All I had to do was phone a London Black Cab and I would be on my merry wa.

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