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Tuesday, 4 September, 2001, 01:06 GMT 02:06 UK
Can-can première for Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge dancers can-can at the premiere of the film
Dancers from the real nightclub performed at the event
Film stars Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor have met thousands of fans outside the London première of their movie Moulin Rouge.

The Australian star, who was recently divorced from Tom Cruise, and McGregor spent 10 minutes signing autographs for fans waiting outside the Leicester Square Odeon.

The Prince of Wales attended the royal charity performance of the musical film and was greeted by a troupe of 15 high-stepping dancers from the Parisian nightclub which inspired director Baz Luhrmann's movie.

Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor
Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor faced the cameras
Kidman told reporters she was stunned by the reception from her fans.

"It was much more fun out there than in here - someone even gave me a beautiful bunch of flowers," she said.

Asked about her life since her divorce, she said: "I've come out stronger. I'm lucky, I have got lots of family."

The film's other stars Kylie Minogue and Jim Broadbent will also join the prince for the UK première.

VIP guests at the screening included actor Richard E. Grant, Helena Bonham Carter, singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Big Brother 2 winner Brian Dowling.

'Seriously sad'

The film, which has been a popular hit in the US and elsewhere despite a lukewarm critical reception at the Cannes Film Festival, will open in the UK on Friday.

Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue attended the screening
The film Moulin Rouge, which incorporates contemporary pop hits into a late 19th Century Parisian narrative, is the third part of Baz Luhrmann's Red Curtain trilogy - which includes Strictly Ballroom and William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

A song from the film soundtrack, Lady Marmalade, has been an international chart hit.

Kidman said: "It was so much fun. It was one of those films you make that you are seriously sad to finish. When will I ever get to do a musical again?"

The Prince was introduced to the film's stars outside the cinema.

Helena Bonham Carter
Planet of the Apes star Helena Bonham Carter was at the première
He asked McGregor what part he played in the film, to which the actor pointed to Kidman and said: "I play Nicole's boyfriend."

Kidman was asked by the Prince how difficult it had been to perform as a showgirl.

She said it had been awful, but one of the most fun movies she had made.

The can-can dancers were also due to perform on stage before the film and again later at the film's after-show party at a nightclub near Tower Bridge.

The Moulin Rouge troupe numbers 15 and includes women from Britain, the US, New Zealand, Australia and France.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC News Online's Jayne Douglas
"Modern day musicals are uncharted territory"
The BBC's Rosie Millard reports
"It was in every sense a spectacle"
See also:

09 May 01 | Film
Can-can kickstarts Cannes
09 May 01 | Film
Kidman sets Cannes in motion
16 Nov 99 | Entertainment
Kidman's broken rib halts Moulin
03 Sep 01 | Reviews
'Spell-binding' Moulin Rouge
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