Steven Berkoff shows photographs of vanished East End life at Middlesex University in Hendon

Steven Berkoff at Middlesex University

Steven Berkoff at Middlesex University

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Proving he is just at home behind the camera as he is in front, actor Steven Berkoff showcased his photography skills to students in Hendon yesterday.

Best known for his roles as villains Lieutenant Colone in Rambo and General Orlov in the James Bond film Octopussy, Berkoff has also been a keen photographer from a young age.

He was given his first camera when he was just 11 years old. He said: “Then one day somebody sold me a second-hand Rolleiflex and now I had an amazing machine. From then on I never stopped taking pictures. The camera became a way of communicating my feelings about sights and people.

"I started to record the people who were part of my environment in the East End of London. The East End was changing rapidly and I felt I had to record it before it vanished forever – at the time however I did not realise quite how fast it would disappear.”

As a child Berkoff used to live in Anthony Street, close to Hessel Street. He said: “It was a dense artery of Jewish life with chicken slaughterers, bagel sellers and delis selling that wonderful variety of Jewish food so adored by its passionate noshers.

"I was fortunate enough to capture some images of that life before it faded away along with the people who made it so memorable.”

Middlesex University students had a chance to examine the black and white photographs with Berkoff at the Hendon campus in The Burroughs yesterday.

The pictures depicting an insight into East London in the 1960s and 1970s can be seen at the university from 10am to 6pm until Friday April 26.

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