Actor Andy Serkis thrilled Lord Of The Rings fans in London on Saturday by reading extracts of The Hobbit in character to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the book.

J.R.R. Tolkien's hit novel, which has been developed into a film series set to debut in December, was published on 21 September 1937, and to celebrate, Serkis - who plays Gollum in the fantasy franchise - was the star guest at a celebration in the capital.

The Fulham Palace Gardens venue was decorated to look like the Shire setting from the blockbusters, and the actor read part of The Hobbit to a delighted crowd.

He tells Reuters, "Gollum has been an amazing character to play. What's been strange is that after The Lord of the Rings, he was kind of absorbed into the public consciousness in quite a big way and part of the difficulty of doing The Hobbit 12 years later was kind of reclaiming him, because I have heard that many impersonations and people ask me to do that many telephone messages for them.

"So the first days of doing the character again I really had to... it all sounded right, it's just really connecting with him again."

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    'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'

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    'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'