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The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian stars enjoy UK's biggest film premiere

Prince Caspian UK premiere, O2 London

Story by Jack Foley

THE stars of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian attended the UK’s “biggest film premiere” at London’s O2 Arena on Thursday (June 19, 2008), chatting with fans, signing autographs and even kissing the odd admirer!

An estimated 10,000 people attended the sell-out celebrity event, which featured the largest cinema screen to be constructed in Europe, and red carpet appearances by the film’s stars Liam Neeson, Ben Barnes and the Pevensie children, Anna Popplewell, William Moseley, Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley.

Prince Caspian is the sequel to The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe which took $750m (£381m) worldwide in 2005. It’s a darker, more adult adventure that boasts big battle scenes and a more mature approach.

Film distributors Walt Disney insist the sequel – which is once again directed by Andrew Adamson – is “bigger and more spectacular than ever before”, with more action scenes and visual effects.

Likewise, the O2 premiere was a lavish event that boasted the biggest audience for a UK premiere, the biggest cinema screen – at 91ft by 38ft – ever constructed in Europe and the biggest ever venue for a film screening in Europe.

Needless to say, the sheer scale of the event surprised even the film’s stars, who have been all over the world promoting the film.

William Moseley, who plays Peter Pevensie, described the O2 turnout as “mind-blowing”, adding: “It’s really beyond anything I could have imagined.”

While co-star Anna Popplewell, who plays his sister Susan, said: “It’s really nice to bring the film home for us British actors and to be with a home crowd.”

Liam Neeson, who supplies the voice of Aslan in the films, even surprised one fan by planting a kiss on her cheek and enjoyed the walkabout so much that he reportedly had to be ushered into the arena by an official so as not to miss the start of the film.

Newcomer Ben Barnes, who plays the eponymous Prince Caspian, drew lots of admiring glances from women as he happily signed autographs and posed for photographs. He has already been established as Britain’s newest heart-throb.

Fans who had queued for hours were also treated to displays by fighting knights and horseback sword performers on the approach to the venue.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is released in UK cinemas on June 26.

View photos from the premiere or read more about Prince Caspian