Meet the 'British van Gogh', an artist who is spitting image of famed painter - and even lives on same street

Meet the 'British van Gogh', an artist who is the spitting image of the famed painter - and even lives on the same street. Carl Stafford, 59, says he is often told he looks like the late Dutchman. Staff at a van Gogh exhibition even did a "double take" when he turned up and put on a straw hat, Carl says. Eerily, the grandad-of-four also lives just yards away from where van Gogh briefly stayed in Ramsgate, Kent in 1876. Carl said: "When I went to London I got a few photos taken of myself with the straw hat. "The lady on the reception desk said she had to look twice because she thought it was Van Gogh sitting in the corner. "I know I'm not Van Gogh come back, but I can definitely empathise with him. "It's crazy to think he was also a struggling, unknown artist living on this same street. "I'm kind of in the same position he was. I've got lots of talent yet I feel like I'm on the bottom of the pile, drowning in a sea of technology. "We definitely have different styles of work but we have lots of other things in common. "I can definitely empathise with him. It feels like a real honour and privilege as an artist to have so many similarities with him." Van Gogh briefly lived in Ramsgate during a short stint as a teacher at a boy's boarding school in April 1876, when he was 23 years old. When the school, based on Royal Road, moved to Isleworth, London in June 1876, van Gogh followed. While van Gogh's stay in Ramsgate may have been fleeting, Carl has been determined to make the town his artistic home. He has even turned his flat into a piece of art - with each room being decorated in a different theme. The full-time artist, who describes his style as "surrealist", holds open houses and has had over 100 people come to see his flat. His kitchen is entirely ocean themed, completed with turtles and fish, while his living room has an ancient Egyptian theme. He says his four grandchildren love spending time and playing in his flat. His landlady also does not mind the changes he's made and says they are "improvements". Carl said: "Once I saw this flat I fell in love with it. When I realised Van Gogh had lived here it was even better. "It was amazing as an unknown artist that had just moved here to find that out. "The flat hadn't been painted in about 20 odd years. The landlady didn't mind me painting - she said it's an improvement. "It's like walking into a gallery. I love it and I think van Gogh would have been impressed."