Without Charles Dickens, Christmas wouldn't be the Christmas you know and love (or loathe). The influence of his A Christmas Carol transformed an unpopular festival into one of the best-loved feasts in the Christian calendar. The roast goose tradition? He came up with that. A period of generosity to those less fortunate? He popularised that too. In fact, he is so synonymous with the popularisation of Christmas that when he died in 1870, there's a story that a costermonger's little girl in London asked: "Mr Dickens dead? Then will Father Christmas die too?"
In the video above, Charles Dickens impersonator Chris West tells us all about the impact one of London's greatest authors had on the festival season — from the home of the man himself, the Charles Dickens Museum in Doughty Street.