THE long-awaited statue of Charles Dickens is being unveiled in Guildhall Square this afternoon.
After years of planning and fundraising, the first ever sculpture of the famous Portsmouth author will be revealed at 12.30pm - 202 years after Charles Dickens was born.
A huge turnout is expected with the statue attracting international interest.
Guests from America, renowned Dickens experts, and notably 40 members of the Dickens family, are all expected.
Professor Tony Pointon, from the Charles Dickens Statue Fund, said: ‘It’s wonderful for Portsmouth that it will have this and it’s wonderful for Dickensians all over the world.
‘We are getting all sorts of messages of congratulations from people. We have got worldwide interest.’
Money for the statue, which cost around £150,000, was raised by people across the community including Charles Dickens’ great, great grandsons Ian and Gerald Dickens.
Prof Pointon added: ‘Guildhall Square is going to be packed. People of Portsmouth will be absolutely thrilled.
‘Charles Dickens would be thrilled at the thought that his home town is going to honour him in this way.’