Dubai: Hollywood heart-throb Gerard Butler had his audience eating from the palm of his hand last night.

Butler proved himself as a true showman, answering questions from nearly 500 fans at the In Conversation With Gerard Butler event at Madinat Jumeriah with jokes, sarcastic comments some of them unprintable in a family newspaper and animated impressions.

''I just love to entertain," he told a packed press conference earlier in the day. "There is no better buzz than to know you are entertaining others."

In town to collect the Variety International Star of the Year Award at the Dubai International Film Festival, the Scottish actor, famous for roles in 300 and the upcoming Law Abiding Citizen, certainly achieved his goal.

He said: "It feels pretty good to get this award. I don't win a lot of things I think I won a raffle once. My manager came in a few months ago jumping up and down and said I'd won and it was great. It also gave me a chance to come back to Dubai... I love coming here. I came once before for the biggest show I've ever seen in my life at The Atlantis." 

Keeping even his translator in stitches throughout, Butler joked that for the purposes of the press conference he would certainly be learning Arabic.

"This is so messed up," Butler said to his translator at one point. "You're speaking in Arabic for me and teaching me English. Could you teach me how to act as well?"

Butler walked on the red carpet later in the evening ahead of the screening of James Cameron's 3D opus Avatar.