Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne has backed his rival Leonardo DiCaprio to take home this year's best actor prize.

Redmayne, who won in 2015 for his portrayal of Professor Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything, is nominated for the second year in a row for his role as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl.

DiCaprio, who has never won an Oscar despite numerous nominations, received a nod in the same category for his role as a fur trapper in The Revenant.

Arriving at the Film is Great reception for British Oscar nominees and members of the film industry in West Hollywood, Redmayne said: "I think it's pretty much certainly Leo's year and so well deserved."

The actor, who served as a co-host at the reception and was accompanied by his pregnant wife Hannah Bagshawe, said he was impressed by the British talent on display in the Oscar nominations.

He said: "This year in the Oscars there are 24 categories and British people are nominated in 21 of those categories so it's not just in front of the camera, but there is a huge breadth of talent so we are all getting together and probably having a drink or two.

"I am just trying to keep one foot in front of the other. It's been an amazing year and I've been very, very lucky."

Reflecting on his two consecutive Oscar nominations, he said: "It's impossible to get your head around what this circus is, but it's so much fun to be a part of and you try to just kind of pinch yourself and take stock of all the memories, so years from now you can look back on it and work out what it all was."

He was joined at the reception by his Danish Girl co-star and fellow Oscar nominee Alicia Vikander and their director Tom Hooper, as well as Luther star Idris Elba and talk show host James Corden.

Redmayne will next be seen in JK Rowling's Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.

The Oscars will be hosted by Chris Rock at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood tomorrow night

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