17044023British newcomer Carey Mulligan was the star of the red carpet as this year’s Baftas got under way.

The Oscar-nominated 24-year-old is hotly tipped to win Best Actress at the Orange British Academy Film Awards for her role in An Education.

Thousands of fans went to Covent Garden to catch a glimpse of the A-listers shivering on the red carpet in the cold weather as they arrived.

Carey made it a family occasion by bringing along her parents and brother to the ceremony.

She dyed her brunette crop blonde and made a glamorous entrance in a floor-length monochrome floral number with a train – despite the threat of puddles – by French designer Vionnet.

She said of her elegant and figure-hugging dress: “I have just tried to twirl but I ended up wrapping myself up.”

Kate Winslet, who is not nominated for any awards, whipped up a frenzy of excitement on the red carpet when she arrived in a Stella McCartney black dress with lace cut-out panels.

She said of not being nominated: “The pressure is so off. It’s just fantastic. I can just relax and really enjoy it. I really love it. It’s great to come here. I’m going to see my family. It’s great to catch up with my mum and dad. It’s really important to keep coming back.”

Veteran actress Vanessa Redgrave, who is to receive an Academy Fellowship, sheltered from the rain under an umbrella when she arrived with her actress daughter Joely Richardson, who was dressed in a dark blue Katherine Walker gown.

As well as celebrities, onlookers screamed for Prince William as he walked the red carpet in a Savile Row suit. William is to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps by becoming Bafta’s fifth president.