Hollywood hunk Johnny Depp is reportedly ready to leave the glitz of Hollywood and move to the quiet British countryside.

The OSCAR-nominated actor, 40, is the talk of the East Sussex village of Rye, where he has reportedly bought a house.

Depp - who also shares a home in France with wife Vanessa Paradis and their children LILY-ROSE, four, and two-year-old JACK - has already tested out Rye's inns and pubs, while filming new movie The Libertine in nearby Rochester.

A local source tells British newspaper the DAILY EXPRESS, "He sat at the fireplace drinking pints. Villagers knew he wasn't local because he wore a cowboy hat."

To maintain an element of secrecy during his stay, the ED WOOD star booked himself into Rye's 15th century MERMAID INN, under the name WILLIAM WILDER another local told the Express.

Depp is already a big fan of British culture - he based his Jack Sparrow character in Pirates Of The Caribbean: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL on his Rolling Stones rocker pal Keith Richards, is close friends with British badboys Oasis and is a self-confessed fan of English TV comedy THE FAST SHOW.

He is not the first megastar to settle in the area. Sir Paul McCartney, wife HEATHER and daughter BEATRICE live in nearby Peasmarsh.

11/05/2004 13:20