Hoskins helps launch London film campaign

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Bob Hoskins, Bill Nighy and David Suchet launched a campaign yesterday to champion London as an international film-making centre.

The Filming London Partnership will for the first time bring together the Mayor's office, borough councils, transport and police chiefs to reduce bureaucracy for producers. More than 60 bodies have signed up and more than 150 signatories are expected by the end of the year.

London faces stiff competition as a film location from New York, Paris, Prague and other Eastern European cities.

Adrian Wootton, of Film London, said almost £1bn was spent on movie-making in the capital last year, but it had to stay competitive.

"Film production is big business ... But there is a perception in the international industry ... that filming in London can be difficult."

Lord Puttnam, the Oscar-winning producer of Chariots of Fire , who will head a task force to tackle problems, said: "Filming in London has for too many years been a relatively ad hoc process - resulting largely from the absence of any co-ordinated protocols."