HOLLYWOOD actor Johnny Depp has been spotted in York as he continues his surprise tour dates with Jeff Beck.

The star was photographed outside the Principal Hotel this afternoon - as other fans queued outside York Barbican in the hope of seeing the 58-year-old before the concert at the venue tonight.

York Press:

Picture: Lucy Brumby

His appearance follows other sightings in Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester, as well as a wildlife centre in Kent in recent weeks.

"He was a real gent and spent plenty of time signing autographs," said one onlooker.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star has been in the headlines throughout his defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard which was held in the US.

York Press:

Johnny Depp signing autographs outside the Principal Hotel Picture: Lucy Brumby

A jury found her article, published in the Washington Post in 2018, about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse, to be defamatory.  Mr Depp was awarded $10m - the equivalent of £8m - in compensatory damages and $5m (£4m) in punitive damages, which was reduced to $350,000.

Ms Heard, 36, who counter-sued for $100m, was awarded $2m.

Mr Depp said afterwards that he was humbled that the jury had "given [him his] life back".

York Press:

Amanda Monaghan, director of Thor's whose SOL AST bar has opened in the grounds of the Principal Hotel ready for summer, was working at the tipi when he arrived.

"Fans started turning up so I knew something exciting was happening," she told The Press.

"He came out with his entourage, and was a lovely guy. He spent lots of time with fans; there were lots of children there and people who had travelled from all over. 

"It was really exciting for something like that to happen in York - a superstar!"

Amanda's colleague, super fan Lucy Brumby, was among the crowd and met her idol outside the Principal.

"It is the best thing that has ever happened to me."

York Press:

Johnny Depp arriving at York Barbican. Picture: Alex, YO1 Radio

A huge fan since watching the first Pirates of the Caribbean film as a child, Lucy admits that her bedroom walls were covered with posters as a child, and she named her cat Captain Jack.

"I am a very, very, very big fan so it was amazing for me," she said.

"I really love him. I watched every day of the trial. I am very invested."

Lucy is the operations support manager at Thor's, and saw the tour bus when she arrived at work this morning, and joined the awaiting crowd.

"Jeff Beck came out first and waved at me. Johnny came out shortly after. He came out and signed a few things next to me. In my head he made a beeline to me. I was shaking like a leaf. He said 'it's ok'. I got a selfie with him."

After Mr Depp signed an autograph for her, Lucy said: "I looked him right in the face and said 'you are a legend'. He grabbed my arm and squeezed it. I burst into tears. You never know you are going to meet these people. He is a Hollywood superstar. He lives in America. And here he is staying at the Principal Hotel in York. It was amazing."  Tonight's show at York Barbican, which had originally been scheduled to take place in 2021, has sold out.