SPECULATION is rife that heartthrob actor Johnny Depp has just splashed out £2.5million on a house in Broomfield.

Several sources claim the 43-year-old star of Pirates of the Caribbean has been spotted house hunting in the South-West.

And the latest stories suggest he has snapped up a bolthole in the picturesque hamlet tucked away in the Quantocks near Kingston St Mary.

Locals have been looking out to try to catch a glimpse of Depp and his partner, French singer and actress Vanessa Paradis.

It has also been suggested that the couple have booked their two young children into a local independent school.

Estate agents we approached would "neither confirm nor deny" they had sold a property to the actor.

One said: "If you asked whether we'd sold to a particular person, the answer would always be, No' because we have a duty to protect our clients' anonymity."

A villager said: "I certainly haven't seen Johnny Depp around here and I've heard nothing of the rumours.

"If it was true, it would be nice to think he'd get involved in the community by going to church, joining local groups and maybe even taking part in the annual pantomime."