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Excitement builds ahead of 'The Hobbit's royal UK premiere

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Middle Earth has already moved in New Zealand where The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey had its colourful world premiere. Now, it's the UK's turn as London prepares to host the film's Royal Performance screening, which will be attended by the Duke of Cambridge.

The event will raise money for the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund, and in wife Kate's absence – due to severe morning sickness – William will mingle with the movie's all-star cast, as well as trustees and beneficiaries of the charity. Heading the line-up will be Elijah Wood, who reprises his legendary role as Frodo Baggins, and his director Peter Jackson. The Oscar-winning filmmaker is unleashing the first instalment of the Hobbit trilogy, which is set 60 years before The Lord of the Rings and is based on the epic fantasy books of JRR Tolkien.

Hobbit premiere

Also expected to attend are Cate Blanchett and her co-star, British actor Martin Freeman. Martin snared the lead role of Bilbo Baggins and when the film was unveiled in New Zealand recently, he praised Peter Jackson's Midas touch, saying: "He's done it again, if it's possible. It's probably even better than The Lord of the Rings. I think he's surpassed it." The one thing the iconic director certainly did surpass are traditional movie-making techniques. One of the special features of The Hobbit is the fact that it is shot using 48 frames per second instead of the traditional 24, resulting in razor-sharp picture quality. "I really think 48 frames is pretty terrific and I'm looking forward to seeing the reaction," Peter said of the film. "It's been talked about for so long, but finally the film is being released and people can decide for themselves." 

Hobbit premiere

That won't be until 14 December, when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theatres. In the meantime, fans can watch the live streaming of the UK premiere right here on HELLO! Online.

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