Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

The Hobbit: Northern Ireland talent on the green carpet

James Nesbitt and family arriving for the UK Premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at the Odeon Leicester Square, London

The carpet at the London premiere of the new Hobbit film was green — perhaps fittingly, given the Northern Irish presence at the star-studded event.

But Co Antrim actor Jimmy Nesbitt — who plays Bofur the dwarf in the epic fantasy tale — was in danger of being upstaged by a dress.

Nesbitt attended the premiere with his wife and family.

But it was a dress designed by a young Belfast student that turned both celebrity and royal heads at the glitzy Leicester Square bash.

Northern Irish model Sam Madden showed off her Junk Kouture dress ‘Explosions of Faith’ designed by Rathmore Grammar School student Sarah Rickland for the paparazzi.

The dress was one of three winning designs by students which was selected to attend the premiere to show off fashion art made from waste.

The Duke of Cambridge was on his own last night, saying his pregnant wife Kate “would have loved to have been here if she could”.

The Duchess, whose pregnancy was announced last week, continued to rest at St James's Palace as she is suffering from acute morning sickness.

After walking down the special green carpet which replaced the usual red for the night, Prince William went inside to meet the cast and was presented with a Hobbit goodie bag to take home to Kate.

He shared a joke with Australian actress Cate Blanchett, who reprises her role as the elf queen Galadriel from the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

Talking about the ease of travelling from her native land to New Zealand, where the Hobbit films were shot, he said: “When I go to Australia I'm always winding up the Kiwis and vice versa. You always get a reaction.”

Sir Ian McKellen, who reprises his role as the wizard Gandalf, was also there, as was Andy Serkis, who plays the evil creature Gollum.

The Office star Martin Freeman admitted it was a challenge to star as The Hobbit himself, Bilbo Baggins, and he hoped fans enjoy the film.

“I hope people like it. There's nothing more you can do. It's in the hands of Peter Jackson and the editors,” he said.

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