London's Leicester Square has hosted the premiere of 300, the war film that has been breaking box office records on the other side of the Atlantic.

Based on the novel by Frank Miller, the premiere saw rising British stars Gerard Butler and Lena Headey stepping out on the red carpet in front of eager fans and celebrities such as Will Young and comedian Jimmy Carr.

Last weekend 300 took over $70 million (£36 million) in takings during its opening weekend in the US, making it the most successful film ever to be released in March.

300 is set in ancient Greece and features a small group of Spartan soldiers defending their country from an entire invading Persian army in a scene purportedly taken from history.

However, the film has not been universally well received and has attracted particular criticism from Iran.

The epic was "plundering Iran's historic past and insulting this civilisation", Iranian cultural advisor Javad Shamaqdari said earlier this week.

Stars Butler and Headey, who play King Leonidas and Queen Gorgo respectively, shrugged off the furore, simply saying they were excited at the film's reception in America and beyond.

"It feels great being involved with something that has been so well received," said Headey.

16/03/2007 17:59:51