Hollywood star Johnny Depp spotted in market town?

THE mystery surrounding the possible sighting of actor Johnny Depp and his partner Vanessa Paradis in a Suffolk market town is continuing - with news of the Hollywood A-lister’s arrival generating great excitement.

The couple were believed to be in Framlingham yesterday afternoon after two people that looked very similar were seen making their way to the castle.

It is not yet known if they are the real thing or just a pair of look-a-likes but the sighting has got everyone talking.

Bill Bulstrode, who owns Bulstrodes on Bridge Street and is chairman of the Framlingham Business Association, said he would like to secure the services of the Hollywood star to turn on this year’s Christmas lights.

“If it is him then of course we would be honoured if he would do it,” he said. “We have sent someone to investigate.”

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Meanwhile Steph Mann, a partner at Framlingham Travel on Market Hill, said: “I saw someone who I thought looked like him walk past but if its him or not I can’t be sure. I didn’t really think much more of it to be honest. From what I understand he was photographed at the castle so he would have been walking in the right direction.”

The film stars have been reported to have visited the county several times before and have expressed interest in buying properties in Thorpeness and Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds.

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Yesterday afternoon a group of friends believed they spotted Depp, 47, who is famous for his portrayal of Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series and his role in films including Edward Scissorhands and Alice in Wonderland, enjoying a day taking in the sights at Framlingham Castle with Paradis, his long-term girlfriend, a French actress and singer.

Beth Hibberd was in The Castle pub in Framlingham with friends yesterday afternoon when one of the group popped to a bank nearby.

The 20-year-old said her friend came running back to the pub having spotted the couple wandering through the town.

“We all went outside to have a look,” she said from her home in Framlingham. “They went and bought a ticket and went into the castle.

“We were so shocked, there was just an air of complete disbelief. He was really loving with his partner, they just seemed really relaxed wandering around having a nice day.”

The history student, on her holidays from York University, said she was convinced it was the star couple. “I am a massive fan,” she added. “My heart was pounding, I was so excited.

“I have heard lots of rumours of him buying a house in the area.”

There have been several alleged sightings of Depp in Suffolk in recent times. In June he was apparently spotted in the Fox and Hounds pub in Thurston, near to where it is suspected they were buying a house. He has also allegedly been seen in the The Ivy House in Stradbroke and at the Co-op store in Framlingham.

In 2007 it was reported he was turned away from the Fox and Goose Inn at Fressingfield, because it was too full.

The family have also been linked to Jasper Conran’s former weekend retreat, a 13th Century moated house called Flemings Hall, in Bedingfield, near Eye.

The rumour mill has also churned out possible sightings of the heart-throb visiting Walberswick, where Pirates of the Caribbean co-star Bill Nighy has a country home.

The couple, who have two children, have homes in France, Los Angeles and on an island in the Bahamas. Depp has been shooting the fourth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean saga, On Stranger Tides, in Hawaii.

- Did you see the mystery pair? Contact the newsdesk on 01473 324736 or newsdesk@eadt.co.uk.

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