Stephen Hawking, one of the most famous living scientists, has attended the UK premiere of a film about his life.

The British cosmologist was diagnosed with motor neurone disease aged 21, which he told the audience taught him to make every moment count.

SOUNDBITE, Professor Stephen Hawking, scientist, saying:

"The doctor who diagnosed me with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, told me it would kill me in two or three years. All my life I have lived with the threat of an early death, so I hate wasting time."

Showing on the opening night of the Cambridge Film Festival, the documentary entitled 'Hawking' - written and narrated by the man himself - is an inspirational tale about how he overcame severe disability to become a leading authority on the study of the universe.

(FILM CLIP...Hawking says "I have always tried to retain a sense of humour)

That sense of humour was on display once again -- as he confessed his admiration for a popular super hero.

SOUNDBITE, Professor Stephen Hawking, scientist, saying:

"If I had to choose a superhero to be, I would pick Superman. He's everything that I'm not. I would love to be able to leap from building to building, and I had a crush on Margot Kidder who played Lois Lane."

"Hawking" is released in UK cinemas on September 20.