Golden tickets, everlasting gobstoppers and chocolate bars were the order of the evening as stars from throughout the entertainment world took to the red carpet for the gala Irish premiere of the summer blockbuster, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Kelly, who takes a lead role as Grandpa Joe in the film, was in ebullient mood as he arrived for the early evening screening with family and friends.
“It’s the biggest film I’ve done and it’s great,” smiled the 76-year-old, best known here at home for his roles as Rashers Tierney in Strumpet City and Sylvie Dolan in Glenroe.
The foyer of the cinema was luxuriantly transformed into Willy Wonka’s Wonderland, with original props flown in for the special screening.
“It’s a children’s paradise and I think the chocolate is going to win out over the popcorn tonight,” quipped TV producer Bill Hughes, who admitted he had really been looking forward to watching the Tim Burton remake which stars Hollywood heart-throb Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka.
Although Depp was not in attendance, there were plenty of well-known faces from both the big and small screen present.
Actors Brendan Gleeson, Liam Cunningham, John Hurt and Simon Delaney put in an appearance, as did TV stars Ryan Tubridy, Gerry Ryan, Claire Byrne, Alan Hughes, Geri Maye and Sharon Ní Bheoláin.
Coronation Street star Keith Duffy also showed up with his wife Lisa and their children just before the 4pm screening.
“I think it’s fantastic that one of our best known actors is playing such an important role in the film.
“It’s a classic movie and a staple of everyone’s Christmas diet,” he said.
The film opens at cinemas across Ireland on Friday next.