17 Mar - The 'Eddie the Eagle' European Premiere

March 17th, 2016.

It's only been one day since London had its last premiere - yesterday evening for the BFI Flare Opening 'The Pass' premiere. Unlike that one, this one was colder, larger, and seemingly mostly involved me photographing the backs of the head of every security person, personal assistant, publicist, hairdresser, media attache, guest, passerby, sous chef, legal aid, street juggler or possibly life-sized statue of Gary Barlow that London could muster at short notice on a cold spring night.

Speaking of Mr Barlow : although he's not in the movie, he's featured on the sountrack and his attendance (surprisingly) garnered more excitement among the crowd than either of Australia's own Hugh Jackman, or the younger up-and-coming lead Taron Egerton. Weird.

Here's how it went down:

As I'm from Australia, I have only cursory knowledge of Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards and his 'legendary' (?) performances as an underdog in ski jumping. It's possibly a spoiler to say he came last in both of his events at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics... while Australia's (sort of but not quite) equivalent - Steven Bradbury in speed skating - actually won gold in 2002.

As I'm from Australia, I have only cursory knowledge of Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards and his 'legendary' (?) performances as an underdog in ski jumping. It's possibly a spoiler to say he came last in both of his events at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics... while Australia's (sort of but not quite) equivalent - Steven Bradbury in speed skating - actually won gold in 2002.

It's St Patrick Day, so enthusiasm for the Union Jack at this event was slightly lower than anticipated.

It's St Patrick Day, so enthusiasm for the Union Jack at this event was slightly lower than anticipated.

My spot at the premiere *seemed* adequate - front row, albeit opposite the paparazzi near the dropoff, with half a dozen personal assitants and publicists already standing around sipping lattes and playing candy crush on their mobile phones... or "being busy" doing whatever publicists do.

My spot at the premiere *seemed* adequate - front row, albeit opposite the paparazzi near the dropoff, with half a dozen personal assitants and publicists already standing around sipping lattes and playing candy crush on their mobile phones... or "being busy" doing whatever publicists do.

After being maliciously dissed (or perhaps simply not invited to, or perhaps unavaiable) for yesterday's premiere of "The Pass", your friend and mine Hakeem "Mr Impact" and DJ Low Altitude were back with a vengeance today, complete with beanie, tracksuit and a 1980s inspired soundtrack.

After being maliciously dissed (or perhaps simply not invited to, or perhaps unavaiable) for yesterday's premiere of "The Pass", your friend and mine Hakeem "Mr Impact" and DJ Low Altitude were back with a vengeance today, complete with beanie, tracksuit and a 1980s inspired soundtrack.

"In Mother Russia, not even our triple gold medallists get biopics featuring Hugh Jackman.. and yet in England, non-medallists get Leicester Square premieres. Your country makes no sense"

"In Mother Russia, not even our triple gold medallists get biopics featuring Hugh Jackman.. and yet in England, non-medallists get Leicester Square premieres. Your country makes no sense"

Our first arrival portrays Eddie The Eagle himself in this movie - Taron Egerton, probably best known for being the lead in last year's "Kingsman : The Secret Service"... which weirdly ALSO had a Gary Barlow component.

Our first arrival portrays Eddie The Eagle himself in this movie - Taron Egerton, probably best known for being the lead in last year's "Kingsman : The Secret Service"... which weirdly ALSO had a Gary Barlow component.

"I can't stop to sign right now. But I can raise my eyebrow at the fact that most of you are here for Gary Barlow and not me" ("Eeee! He mentioned Gary Barlow!!!!" is how the crowd around me would have responded to that comment, had it been made)

"I can't stop to sign right now. But I can raise my eyebrow at the fact that most of you are here for Gary Barlow and not me" ("Eeee! He mentioned Gary Barlow!!!!" is how the crowd around me would have responded to that comment, had it been made)

"Gary Barlow fans, huh? Yeah, he seems nice. I haven't met him, myself" - Australia's Wolverine / Jean Valjean has arrived. I photographed him at both the premieres of "The Wolverine" and "Les Miserables", but to me Hugh Jackman's finest film role was the awesome "Real Steel" in 2011.

"Gary Barlow fans, huh? Yeah, he seems nice. I haven't met him, myself" - Australia's Wolverine / Jean Valjean has arrived. I photographed him at both the premieres of "The Wolverine" and "Les Miserables", but to me Hugh Jackman's finest film role was the awesome "Real Steel" in 2011.

"You can either wait and hope I come back, or you can accept that I've deputised that dude over there to sign and pose for selfies on my behalf. I think his name is Steve..."

"You can either wait and hope I come back, or you can accept that I've deputised that dude over there to sign and pose for selfies on my behalf. I think his name is Steve..."

"They're all here for Gary Barlow, Hugh! What do we do ; this is terrible!" "What do you mean 'terrible' ? - we're going to get to the popcorn stand a good half an hour earlier!"

"They're all here for Gary Barlow, Hugh! What do we do ; this is terrible!"
"What do you mean 'terrible' ? - we're going to get to the popcorn stand a good half an hour earlier!"

"OMG you look like the Wolverine, but your voice is the same as the Easter Bunny in 'Rise of the Guardians'! How does that work??" - that movie was appalling, though.

"OMG you look like the Wolverine, but your voice is the same as the Easter Bunny in 'Rise of the Guardians'! How does that work??" - that movie was appalling, though.

I don't know who this, but that last-second trouser adjustment appeared necessary. (As did the presence of the two personal assistants blocking all views from where I stood to photograph it).

I don't know who this, but that last-second trouser adjustment appeared necessary. (As did the presence of the two personal assistants blocking all views from where I stood to photograph it).

"I guess I can take time out of my busy day waiting for Gary to pose for a selfie with you..."

"I guess I can take time out of my busy day waiting for Gary to pose for a selfie with you..."

The Man Himself, Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards arrives, to both the sounds of cheers and anguish of "Wait... if that's Gary Barlow then what happened to his lustrous hair??"

The Man Himself, Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards arrives, to both the sounds of cheers and anguish of "Wait... if that's Gary Barlow then what happened to his lustrous hair??"

Ski jumping. Not as dynamic a sport as it appears, when you think about it.

Ski jumping. Not as dynamic a sport as it appears, when you think about it.

Big thanks to leopard-print lady for walking into this shot of Eddie the Eagle jumping (also, big thanks to passing security dude who blocked a second jump) (also, big thanks to OTHER passerby blocking a third jump) (and big thanks to a rare autofocus fail from the Nikon for failing me on a FOURTH jump). Sigh. Some days you just want to blame all people who wear leopard-print to a premiere, though....

Big thanks to leopard-print lady for walking into this shot of Eddie the Eagle jumping (also, big thanks to passing security dude who blocked a second jump) (also, big thanks to OTHER passerby blocking a third jump) (and big thanks to a rare autofocus fail from the Nikon for failing me on a FOURTH jump). Sigh. Some days you just want to blame all people who wear leopard-print to a premiere, though....

It's not easy for a 6' 2" Australian superhero to sneak up on somebody, but Hugh Jackman is about to accomplish the feat.

It's not easy for a 6' 2" Australian superhero to sneak up on somebody, but Hugh Jackman is about to accomplish the feat.

"He's taking my wallet and you're just taking photographs of it to sell to the newspapers! Somebody stop him - what's wrong with you people!!!"

"He's taking my wallet and you're just taking photographs of it to sell to the newspapers! Somebody stop him - what's wrong with you people!!!"

"OMG you're like me but older!" "OMG you're like me but younger!" "OMG now you're stealing MY wallet because Hugh Jackman stole yours??"

"OMG you're like me but older!"
"OMG you're like me but younger!"
"OMG now you're stealing MY wallet because Hugh Jackman stole yours??"

Three wise men and a star... all the harbingers of the imminent arrival of Gary Barlow appear to be in place.

Three wise men and a star... all the harbingers of the imminent arrival of Gary Barlow appear to be in place.

Our next arrival is Dexter Fletcher, possibly best known for doing what any of us would do, ie. typically attend premieres for movies he's not actually involved in the making of. Except this time he IS involved : he's the director of this film! - I thought his directorial debut ("Wild Bill" in 2011) was really good.

Our next arrival is Dexter Fletcher, possibly best known for doing what any of us would do, ie. typically attend premieres for movies he's not actually involved in the making of. Except this time he IS involved : he's the director of this film! - I thought his directorial debut ("Wild Bill" in 2011) was really good.

That awkward moment when you realise you never got Hugh Jackman's autograph in all the time you were on-set directing him, and now this premiere is kind of your last best chance....

That awkward moment when you realise you never got Hugh Jackman's autograph in all the time you were on-set directing him, and now this premiere is kind of your last best chance....

"What do you mean I missed Hugh Jackman? Where is he?" - Keith Allen is in this film. Apparently he plays Eddie the Eagle's father.

"What do you mean I missed Hugh Jackman? Where is he?" - Keith Allen is in this film. Apparently he plays Eddie the Eagle's father.

This premiere, along with not yet being attended by Gay Barlow, also featured many other notable musicians who were active in the 1980s. This may or may not be Nik Kershaw, for instance. (edited to add : Howard Jones)

This premiere, along with not yet being attended by Gay Barlow, also featured many other notable musicians who were active in the 1980s. This may or may not be Nik Kershaw, for instance.
(edited to add : Howard Jones)

This is probably not Gary Barlow, and quite likely not Nik Kershaw either. More news as it happens. I'll let you know if anyone from the bad 'Starship' shows up... (edited to add : I still don't know who this is)

This is probably not Gary Barlow, and quite likely not Nik Kershaw either. More news as it happens. I'll let you know if anyone from the bad 'Starship' shows up... (edited to add : I still don't know who this is)

"G'day, mostly ladies here to see Not Me" Hugh Jackman has indeed returned to sign autographs, and it seems his Aussie charms have even won over the crowd of people still waiting for the Main Drawcard (?) to arrive.

"G'day, mostly ladies here to see Not Me" Hugh Jackman has indeed returned to sign autographs, and it seems his Aussie charms have even won over the crowd of people still waiting for the Main Drawcard (?) to arrive.

The lady to my left surprisingly also wasted valuable Gary Barlow Photo Taking Pixels And Battery Life to photograph Mr Jackman.

The lady to my left surprisingly also wasted valuable Gary Barlow Photo Taking Pixels And Battery Life to photograph Mr Jackman.

"And this is a photo of Gary Barlow I took at a concert. And this is one of him ... actually my lawyer has advised I shouldn't go into details of how I got this picture...."

"And this is a photo of Gary Barlow I took at a concert. And this is one of him ... actually my lawyer has advised I shouldn't go into details of how I got this picture...."

It's finally happened. The man, the myth, the flashy suit, the winning smile and the incredible hair HIMSELF has arrived, to the sound of cheers, excitment, and possibly the odd marriage proposal...

It's finally happened. The man, the myth, the flashy suit, the winning smile and the incredible hair HIMSELF has arrived, to the sound of cheers, excitment, and possibly the odd marriage proposal...

"Wait.... I just want to see what your high score on Fruit Ninja is. You kids still play fruit ninja, right?"

"Wait.... I just want to see what your high score on Fruit Ninja is. You kids still play fruit ninja, right?"

"I'll sign more later... right now I just want to distract myself from the ringing in my ears by having my retinas seared by paparazzi flahes"

"I'll sign more later... right now I just want to distract myself from the ringing in my ears by having my retinas seared by paparazzi flahes"

"I asked for TWO hats, Terry. Not one. Forget about the number of fingers I'm holding up, incidentally". Director Matthew Vaughn (right) is one of ELEVEN producers of varying ranks attached to this film, but he's a director in his own right - most recently having directed the (I think) rather excessively smug therefore somewhat unenjoyable Kingsman : The Secret Service.

"I asked for TWO hats, Terry. Not one. Forget about the number of fingers I'm holding up, incidentally". Director Matthew Vaughn (right) is one of ELEVEN producers of varying ranks attached to this film, but he's a director in his own right - most recently having directed the (I think) rather excessively smug therefore somewhat unenjoyable Kingsman : The Secret Service.

"If you thought my last film was excessive, wait til you hear what I have planned for the Enid Blyton Famous Five adaptation I'm draftig!" sadly - because I'd like to see that - Matthew Vaughn's next venture is more likely to be the already-announced "I am Pilgrim" and inevitable "Kingsman" sequel.

"If you thought my last film was excessive, wait til you hear what I have planned for the Enid Blyton Famous Five adaptation I'm draftig!" sadly - because I'd like to see that - Matthew Vaughn's next venture is more likely to be the already-announced "I am Pilgrim" and inevitable "Kingsman" sequel.

Matthew Vaughn's wife, incidentally, is former German supermodel Claudia Schiffer...

Matthew Vaughn's wife, incidentally, is former German supermodel Claudia Schiffer...

"Wait.. you're offering me CANDY in exchange for a selfie? You know me so well... gimme that !"

"Wait.. you're offering me CANDY in exchange for a selfie? You know me so well... gimme that !"

"Wait.. there's a MOVIE on??"

"Wait.. there's a MOVIE on??"

...and then it was time to go home.....

...and then it was time to go home.....

So... that was that. I quite enjoyed the event insofar as I was around a nice group of people, although the frustration level of having a huge failure rate due to the constant presence of PAs, assistants, advisors, attaches, hangers-on, groupies, and possibly even homeless people enjoying the feel of soft blue carpet was a constant annoyance. I found out later that I'd missed both Billy Zane (he was THE PHANTOM!) and Jamie Oliver (chef) - which given I was across from the Paparazzi pen should have been impossible.

Still.... no reason not to put it into The Archive of Movie premieres, where hopefully it will be joined by a less stressful 'Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice' premiere next week. Somehow.  I... can't wait.

Until next time!

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