The second Lord of the Rings film premiered in London last night with stars Liv Tyler, Cate Blanchett and Sean Astin in attendance.

'The Two Towers', which has already been screened in New York and Paris, opens worldwide on 18 December.

Director Peter Jackson was greeted by screams of "Peter, Peter" at Leicester Square last night and spent time signing autographs for the fans who had gathered there.

Actress Liv Tyler was also greeted by screams, although her role as Elf princess Arwen is a brief one.

Elijah Wood, Christopher Lee and Viggo Mortensen, who play Frodo, Saruman and Aragorn, did not attend the screening.

Although the film does not open to the general public until 18 December, it has been reported that pirated DVDs have been on sale for $1 in Shanghai, China for the past two weeks.

The final instalment of the Tolkien trilogy is due for release in December 2003.