Party Of The Week: Raindrops and broomsticks

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Umbrellas were the fashion accessory of choice at the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in London this week.

The film's stars arrived in Leicester Square bang in the middle of a thunderstorm, which was magically atmospheric but not necessarily practical.

Emma Watson, 19, who has been playing Hermione Granger since she was 10 years old, wore a pretty, vintage 1970s Ossie Clark floor-length dress with a low neckline and thigh-high split.

The other two Potter stars, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and recent swine-flu victim Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), with whom Watson shares her first on-screen kiss, looked more bedraggled.

Author J K Rowling sparkled in a bright purple dress and sky-high gold gladiator Louboutins alongside her husband, Neil Murray. They were joined by cast members including Dame Maggie Smith, Sir Michael Gambon, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane and Alan Rickman. Other VIPs celebrating the release of the sixth film in the series included Graham Norton, Jo Whiley, Pixie Geldof, Gary Lineker and John Hurt, with his wife Ann Rees Meyers.

Although the film is expected to be the biggest box office hit of the franchise so far, producers Warner Bros didn't throw in an after-party. According to the press office, the cast and crew had already missed four days of filming thanks to a press junket and a wild party after the premiere was not deemed appropriate. They made do with a small cocktail soirée instead before jetting off to New York for the American premiere.

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