Page last updated at 21:25 GMT, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 22:25 UK

Frost attends London film gala

Actor Michael Sheen and broadcaster Sir David Frost
Michael Sheen and Sir David Frost were both on the red carpet

Broadcaster Sir David Frost was among the guests at the gala screening of Frost/Nixon which kicked off this year's London Film Festival.

Inspired by his 1977 interviews with disgraced US president Richard Nixon, the premiere launched two weeks of events, screenings and talks.

Michael Sheen, who plays Sir David in the film, also attended with co-star Frank Langella and director Ron Howard.

They were joined by other cast members including Kevin Bacon and Oliver Platt.

Stars of Frost Nixon talk about the film.

Frost/Nixon began as a stage play at London's Donmar Warehouse theatre, written by Peter Morgan.

It is based on the series of interviews which gripped more than 45 million Americans as the disgraced Nixon was quizzed by Frost for the first time since his resignation two years previously.

Nixon eventually tacitly admitted his part in the Watergate scandal that led to his downfall.

Speaking on the red carpet, Sir David told the BBC what it was like to interview a man who was, as he put it, "going towards his mea culpa".

"It was unforgettable at the time and it sunk in more afterwards," he said.

Real-life figures

Festival highlights include W, Oliver Stone's biopic of President George W Bush, and the first public screening of new Bond film Quantum of Solace.

London cinemagoers will also get their first glimpse of The Class, this year's Palme d'Or winner at Cannes, and Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, with Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson.

This year's event - the 52nd - ends on 30 October with Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle's film about a Mumbai orphan who competes in the Indian version of TV game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

Frank Langella and Michael Sheen in Frost/Nixon
Langella (left) plays Richard Nixon to Michael Sheen's Sir David Frost (right)
Stars expected to attend screenings of their latest films include Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Hathaway, Colin Firth and Ryan Phillippe.

They will be joined on the red carpet by such distinguished directors as Sir Richard Eyre, Spike Lee, Jonathan Demme and Michael Winterbottom.

Real-life figures feature prominently in this year's programme, with films about Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands and boxer Mike Tyson among the 189 features and 108 shorts on offer.

Benicio Del Toro, Robert Carlyle and Oscar-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman are among those who will discuss their work on stage at the National Film Theatre.

In pictures: London Film Festival
15 Oct 08 |  In Pictures
Public premiere for new Bond film
10 Sep 08 |  Entertainment
Slumdog will close film festival
04 Sep 08 |  Entertainment
Frost/Nixon to open film festival
26 Jun 08 |  Entertainment

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