Eddie the Eagle joining stars for European premiere of film based on his life


The real Eddie the Eagle is attending the European premiere of the film he inspired, alongside the movie's stars Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton. 

Egerton plays unlikely British ski-jumper Michael "Eddie" Edwards in Eddie The Eagle, while Jackman stars as his reluctant, heavy-drinking fictional coach Bronson Peary.

They will walk the red carpet in London's Leicester Square alongside director Dexter Fletcher and producer Matthew Vaughn.

Edwards soared to fame when he finished last at the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988. He attracted huge public support for his unorthodox approach and determination to succeed against all odds. 

On the eve of the premiere of the £16 million Hollywood movie, Edwards told the Press Association he intended to soar again.

The 52-year-old is targeting a ski-jumping return on the International Masters Tour, having jumped for the first time in 19 years in Courchevel, France, in January.

He said: "I would love to return to competition - and getting into one or two of the Masters events would be a great opportunity to do it."

Edwards has retained his links with winter sports since his retirement in 1998 and recently made a series of guest appearances on injury-plagued Channel 4 programme The Jump. He also continues to work as a plasterer in Cheltenham.

Speaking about his Courchevel experience, he said: "I couldn't wait to get back at the top of the ski-jump and I didn't feel nervous about it at all - it felt like I hadn't been away.

"All the equipment and technique has changed but with a bit of practice I am confident I can get back to the levels I was jumping when I was at the Olympics."

Edwards is also excited about the impact the film could have on British ski-jumping. 

"I'm hoping kids will be inspired by the film and realise it was my dream to get to the Olympics - and it was a dream that can come true," he said. 

"It would be a wonderful legacy to leave if the film could inspire one young British athlete to take up the sport and go on to become an Eddie the Eagle of the future."

:: Eddie The Eagle will be released in cinemas on April 1.