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Harrison Ford impressed by footage from new Star Wars film

Star Wars star Harrison Ford has revealed how impressed he was when he saw footage from the highly anticipated new instalment in the film franchise.

Ford, 73, resumes his role as Han Solo in Episode VII: The Force Awakens and has already seen parts of the film ahead of its release in December.

The veteran actor, who won legions of fans for his roles in Star Wars and Indiana Jones, expressed his admiration for director JJ Abrams, who is also responsible for the recent Star Trek movies.

Speaking on the red carpet at Bafta Los Angeles's Britannia Awards in Beverly Hills, where he was honoured with the Albert R Broccoli award for worldwide contribution to entertainment, he said: "I saw various scenes as they were developed and I saw a bunch of stuff but I haven't seen the movie altogether in all its glory with music and all the effects.

"I'm delighted to have worked with a film craftsman like JJ Abrams, I can see all of his intelligence and wit and craft in the movie and it's really good."

Ford's first acting credit was in 1966 and he said there is a very simple reason he has had such a long career: "I've been staying alive!"

He added: "I've been very grateful for the opportunities I have had, I've worked with wonderful people. Their success and their skill and their talent is what has propped me up and kept me here."

Spectre director Sam Mendes was presented with the John Schlesinger award for excellence in directing at the ceremony.

Mendes, who was still working on the James Bond film just days before the world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall, said reality resumed as soon as the movie was in the can.

"I went for a long walk and took my son and his friend to the cinema and waited in the car because I wasn't allowed inside. Just normal life."

Suffragette star Meryl Streep won the Stanley Kubrick award for excellence in film, while comedian Amy Schumer collected the Charlie Chaplin award for excellence in comedy.

Pirates Of The Caribbean actor Orlando Bloom picked up the humanitarian award for his work with Unicef and James Corden won British artist of the year after the huge success of his late-night talk show in America.

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