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The famous Star Wars character floats above Bristol

The Darth Vader balloon flies above the Clifton Suspension Bridge (Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

Bristol's famous festival moves to the dark side as Darth Vader balloon takes to the skies

David Harding

Europe's largest ballooning event has taken to the skies again as the 41st Bristol International Balloon Festival got underway.

The event will features four days of displays, with more than 130 hot air balloons taking part.

Among the balloons on the Bristol skyline was a Darth Vader one which was flying for the first time at the festival following a crowdfunding campaign, which saw £5,000 raised by the public.

Crowds waved and cheered as it flew over the city's famous Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Ian Martin co-piloted Darth Vader and said: “I have never flown in Darth Vader before.

“It was emotional because of the work we have put in over the last 24-48 hours to put this on this morning.”

The festival continues until August 11.