Lucas praises the UK film industry

George Lucas has praised Britain for backing its movie industry as he attended a glittering royal reception celebrating British television and film.

The Hollywood supremo said the UK had been very influential in his career.

Star Wars director Lucas, who had flown in especially for the Windsor Castle reception attended by a host of A-list stars, said: "I've been here since '75 so for me this is my second home."

Asked how the British film industry had helped his career, he replied: "It's been very influential for me, I've shot lots of movies here, not only four of the Star Wars films but also Indiana Jones, all kinds of films - it's been a long road."

The reception, held in the royal residence's lavish state apartments, recognised those involved with British films and the supporting creative industries.

The Queen received an honorary Bafta at the event in recognition of a lifetime's support of British film and television - and for being the most "memorable Bond girl yet".

John Willis, chairman of Bafta, paid tribute to the Queen for her patronage of entertainment bodies and charities throughout her reign.

And he drew laughter from the audience when he referred to the Queen's now famous role alongside James Bond during the opening ceremony of the Olympics - when she appeared to parachute into the stadium with 007.

Among the 300 guests were actors, directors, writers, producers, costume and set designers, publicists and critics.

They included Homeland star Damian Lewis who attended the event with his actress wife Helen McCrory. He said: "The British film industry is an important part of what we do in this country, we punch way above our weight."