Johnny Depp surprised staff at an antiques shop in Lincolnshire as he dropped in unannounced by helicopter to peruse the items they had on sale.

The actor’s visit to Hemswell Antique Centres, Hemswell Cliff, was kept a secret, as he wanted to take a relaxed look at the shop’s guitars without being noticed by the public.

The visit had been arranged by the store and Pinewood Studios, which have a working relationship. The film studios have produced the Harry Potter and James Bond franchises.

Depp, 59, arrived by helicopter at Europe’s largest antiques centre on Friday afternoon, at around 4:30pm.

The shop’s owner, Robert Miller, had to conceal the actor’s identity from his staff

The store’s owner, Robert Miller, described Depp as really ‘down-to-earth’. He had to notify staff that a special guest would be arriving but had to conceal his identity.

Miller admitted that Depp had tested several different guitars during his visit to the shop, and was overheard talking about Jeff Beck, who he collaborated with for his album ‘18’, which was released last year. The pair had played many gigs together.

Johnny tried out several different guitars

Mr Miller said: “He just bought a lot of very quirky items. A desk chair, three guitars, paint sets, easels, a few pictures, posters, just a whole range of things for decorative items for his own personal property.

“He chose a vase with a skull on it. Guitars obviously. He was very friendly with, best friends with Jeff Beck, he sat and played a few tunes on this guitar I think just for old times’ sake really and then decided to buy three of the guitars that were there.

The shop’s owner Robert Miller (right) described the actor as ‘down-to-earth’

“It was great because he was his normal self and he was very relaxed and was able to spend time looking at things and playing on the guitars that he wanted to play on. He felt very at home.”

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