HOLLYWOOD superstar Russell Crowe stunned villagers in a North Yorkshire village when he dropped in for a chat with the grandparents of his bride-to-be.

The Gladiator star is due to marry Australian singer-songwriter Danielle Spencer in Fiji.

But her elderly relatives will be unable to make the long journey from their home in Nether Poppleton.

The star was anxious to meet all Danielle's family so he made the trip from his Hollywood home.

Crowe flew to Milan then travelled to Paris where he chartered a helicopter to Rufforth Airfield, near York. He was picked up by Danielle's uncle and driven from Rufforth to the grandparents' home.

The star stayed with the family for two hours before flying off again.

Danielle's uncle, who wants the North Yorkshire relatives to remain anonymous, said Crowe was the "nicest, most generous man you could ever wish meet".

Rumours of the star's visit have been sweeping through Poppleton. One villager said: "It's unbelievable. I wish he'd stuck around long enough for a pint at The Lord Nelson.

"It's a long journey to make for such a short meeting but I think that shows how much he loves his future wife.

"We've never had so much as a soap star in Poppleton before, let alone a Hollywood superstar."

Nether Poppleton merges into the neighbouring Upper Poppleton and the two villages have a combined population of about 2,000