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London’s ‘Golden’ glow

'Compass' finds way to London premiere

LONDON – Fantasy descended on London Nov. 27 for the world preem of “The Golden Compass,” as Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Sam Elliott, Freddie Highmore and newcomer Dakota Blue Richards navigated their way through the crowds of autograph seekers and overflowing press.

“London knows how to throw a premiere like no one else,” said the pic’s helmer, Chris Weitz, who, in addition to thanking Nigel and Trevor Green, co-toppers at U.K. distrib Entertainment Films, also reserved special praise for the 13-year-old Richards. “She’s smart enough to realize all this stuff is nonsense.”

Philip Pullman, upon whose book, “Northern Lights,” the film is based, was also in attendance, along with New Line’s Bob Shaye. Celeb-filled audience included Hugh Grant, Salman Rushdie and Kidman’s hubbie, Keith Urban.

Revellers danced the night away at Wapping Dock in London’s east end, with the massive former warehouses decked out in an assortment of themed rooms straight out of the film’s parallel universe, replete with acrobats hanging from floating balloons. The star attraction, however, was a life-size recreation of one of the film’s armored ice bears, next to which party-goers readily queued up to have their photos taken.

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