11 JANUARY 2008

There were scenes of near hysteria in London on Thursday night as Johnny Depp strolled the red carpet at the premiere of the gothic flick Sweeney Todd. Thousands of fans - including many dressed as Johnny's on-screen character - had crowded Leicester Square to get a glimpse of the Hollywood idol.

The 44-year-old screen hunk plays a serial-killer barber in the musical thriller, his sixth collaboration with Edward Scissorhands director Tim Burton.

And the role represented something of a departure for Johnny in that it called on him to sing - something he's not done on screen before, despite many years spent playing in bands. "I always played guitar," he explains, but: "I never sang in my life!".

Joining the American actor at the premiere was home-grown star Timothy Spall, who attended with the special ladies in his life. The actor, who's a familiar face on both sides of the Atlantic these days thanks to roles in Harry Potter and The Last Samurai, chaperoned his wife Shane their grown-up daughters Mercedes and Pascale.

Adding her inimitable style to the bash was director Tim's partner, Helena Bonham Carter, who also appears in the film. The English actress, who gave birth to the couple's as-yet-unnamed daughter last month, set shutters snapping in a striking scarlet satin gown by Vivienne Westwood.

Click here to watch Sweeney Todd trailer

See Johnny and director Tim talk about their latest collaboration...

Photo: ©
The 44-year-old hunk spent an hour chatting to the fans packing London's Leicester Square, which had been transformed into a Victorian-era street for the Sweeney Todd premiere Photo: © RexClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Joining Johnny on the red carpet was Harry Potter actor Timothy Spall, accompanied by his daughters Mercedes and Pascale (right), and wife ShanePhoto: © Rex
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