Zac zips into teen hearts

The boy next door steals the show at the British premiere of ‘High School Musical 3’

By Daily Mail

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Published: Thu 9 Oct 2008, 9:01 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:43 PM

HE ARRIVED WITH a smile that revealed more gleaming teeth than it seemed possible to fit in one mouth.

Hair swept back in a flowing quiff, his eyes flashed bright blue in the grey evening light.

Nothing in a teenage girl's dreams could have matched the moment they were able to see their Zac Efron in the flesh.

The star of ‘High School Musical’ arrived to scenes of hysteria and mayhem for Tuesday night's UK premiere of a movie set to take the world by storm.

Or, rather, the world of under-16 teenyboppers, some of whom queued in the drizzle for up to 14 hours to see their heartthrob.

Screaming girls aged from four upwards cheered their young idol, threw flowers and messages of love. One even proposed marriage.

Mothers held their tiny daughters aloft for a glimpse of Efron. Not for themselves, you understand, but just so they could get a better view.

One said it reminded her of when David Cassidy came to Britain. Another said it must have been like Beatle-mania. Which left only one question for us old timers outside the Empire in Leicester Square last night. Zac who?

And here's the answer. He's the 20-year-old lead actor from a Walt Disney TV production about American High School life.

The series has become a global sensation over the past two years. High School Musical 3 is the first spin-off to get a full cinema release, opening in Britain from October 22.

Advance ticket sales of more than £500,000 are said to have broken all records. Efron plays Troy Bolton, the captain of Wildcats, the school's basketball team. The movie plot has him facing a choice between basketball and a future in acting.

But that's just the fiction. Last night Efron — whose image appears on posters in countless teenage bedrooms across the land — became reality for about 30 minutes in front of a wailing, cheering crowd.

It was pom-poms at dawn for some of them, waving their High School Musical-style cheerleader tassels and securing their places outside the cinema from 5am.

By the time the security guards came on duty an hour later the barriers were already packed. There was still half a day to wait in the grim October chill before the red carpet rolled out in front of them.

Hours later, their dream of meeting him came true when Efron stepped out of a limo and began to work the crowd.

When loudspeakers blared out soundtracks from the film and songs from the CD they sung along with every word. When the dance scenes flashed up on a giant outdoor screen they seemed to know all the moves.

But Efron was always the centre of attention. Every time he raised his hand in a wave, a thousand hands waved back.

Each time he moved along the line, a surge started in his wake.Some fans bore banners professing their adoration for the 5ft 9in actor, as well as their admiration for the series.

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