BBC Oxford's James Luxford on the London Film Festival

To misquote Russell Crowe in Gladiator, the time for honouring myself is at an end.

I’ve been married a month, had a terrific honeymoon, and turned 30 in style (a surprise party followed a day out with my family).

Now, back to work, and to be honest a small part of me is relieved. While all these things have been lovely, it will be nice to get back to normality without any milestones on the horizon.

Except, things aren’t quite back to normal, for this week sees the 57th London Film Festival open. It’s my sixth festival, and while I normally dip in and out, this year I’m covering more than 30 different movies in the space of about two-and-a-half weeks. The reason being that I am hosting a radio show and podcast about the fest and, as such, need to be clued up on it. There are many things that cheese me off about the festival. Chiefly is the idea that if Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Sundance and Rome are in the ‘Premier League’ of film festivals, London is almost certainly Championship level, never really getting the kind of world exclusives a city of its stature should be getting. Still, it’s an exciting year – Kate Winslet, Michael Fassbender and Tom Hanks (who hardly ever does press) are all turning up, and the line-up of movies is pretty solid for once. It’s still the biggest festival I’ve ever done (although if anyone wants to pay me to go to Cannes 2014, please email me!), and always brings about the kind of interactions you just don’t get anywhere else. Hits include the creepy TV girl who stalked George Clooney around the 2009 festival, or director Steve McQueen getting enraged at the press conference for Shame when every question was about Michael Fassbender’s ‘gentleman’s area’, but the best for me came at my very first festival in 2008.

A lot of the smaller films have ‘rolling premieres’, i.e. one red carpet, then two or three premieres happen one after the other. I was waiting for the premiere of Spike Lee’s Miracle At St. Anna in the foyer of Odeon West End when another premiere, for the gothic drama Franklyn, happened suddenly. There was I, checking my dictaphone, when in glides Eva Green (the Bond Girl from Casino Royale and an actress I still have a huge crush on), star of the movie. She looks over, seeing me with my jaw probably somewhere in the basement of the cinema, winks, and then glides away. Not quite Notting Hill, but good for a Tuesday evening. Sadly that was followed by Spike Lee refusing to do any press and indeed scowling at the press pit. So, while it means missing your wife, friends and social life for two weeks, the festival can be a magical place and that’s why, despite its flaws, I’ll be ferrying back and forth to the LFF on the X90 this year, press pass in my hand and dreams of movie stars in my head.