Tens of thousands of sci-fi fans are expected to visit a huge Star Wars exhibition in London next month.

More than 250 original props and interactive games will be on show at the former Saatchi Gallery at County Hall from May to September.

Jonathan Sands, 34, of Ells Tree in north London, is co-organising the event to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the first film's release.

His company, Weird and Wonderful, was based at Elstree Film & Television Studios, in Shenley Road, where the Star Wars films were made, but moved to a secret location near South Mimms several years ago.

He said: "We are so excited to be going there. The hall's like a Jedi temple, it's absolutely stunning."

But he faces a month of meticulous preparation before the exhibition opens on May 5 because at the moment all the props are on show in Portugal.

"It's like putting together a Van Gogh museum," he said. "Every item needs to be handled with white gloves."

His warehouse contains every conceivable prop from giant jars of Colman's Mustard, orginally from The Borrowers, to a dinosaur foot once used in Red Dwarf, which he loans out to production companies.

But the exhibition, coupled with a three-day celebration of the films planned for Excel in Docklands in July, is his biggest venture yet.

Mr Sands said: "In the past few years we've cemented the relationship with Lucasfilm," he said. "And we're being able to work on all these amazing activities.

"It still surprises me to this day how popular Star Wars is. When the people at Elstree made it, they thought it was a crazy film. But it's even more popular now and this exhibition will actually feed the desire out there.

"I was 12 when my parents moved to Elstree.

"I remember when ithe studio was EMI. When Star Wars went to Elstree, half of it would have been closed if it wasn't for George Lucas. That single film pioneered special effects, sound and the way films are edited."

Mr Sands would not say how much some of the exhibits might be worth, adding: "Each item is priceless because the films aren't going to be made again."

  • Tickets to the exhibition cost £16.50 for adults and £11.50 for children. For more information on the exhibition, visit www.star warstheexhibition.com