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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies world premiere

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Media captionSir Ian McKellen: "I don't believe necessarily this is the end of the journey"

Film stars gathered on a green carpet earlier for the world premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

The premiere was streamed live to more than 160 countries from the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square, London, and some fans had camped on the streets for five days to get a glimpse of the cast.

Among the actors posing for pictures were Martin Freeman, Sir Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly.

The film is the culmination of director Sir Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy.

Sir Peter, 53, who finished editing the movie a week ago, said: "Saying goodbye to the cast was like this agonising long torture over 10 weeks.

"But the real emotions will hit me in days to come."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Orlando Bloom plays the role of an elf called Legolas
Image copyright AP
Image caption Evangeline Lilly plays the part of the elf Tauriel

The film stars Freeman as hobbit Bilbo Baggins alongside Sir Ian as Gandalf the Grey.

Both actors paid tribute to the films' strong fan base and Sir Peter told the crowds: "We hope you enjoy this film. We make it for you, for the fans and the people who enjoy these movies so I hope you like this one."

Freeman, 43, added: "The reason I'm not sad is because we are handing it over to the audience and sharing it with you. You're the best fans in the world - you're loyal and mad - so thank you so much."

His co-star Armitage, who plays dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield, agreed, and said: "It's the most amazing feeling to be here when you step out of the car and the crowd erupt because they love your character. Tonight is going to be a party, a big celebration."

Other stars who attended the film's premiere included actors Stephen Fry, James Nesbitt and Billy Boyd.

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