ACTOR and documentary-maker Ross Kemp enjoyed a whistle-stop tour of Camborne and Pool on Monday.
Mr Kemp, who formerly played Grant Mitchell in BBC soap EastEnders and more recently presented Sky One shows Ross Kemp On Gangs and Ross Kemp: Extreme World, visited the area and explored the topic of opportunities for young people in Cornwall.
Mobbed by crowds, he spent the afternoon being shown around facilities at Cornwall College and meeting some of the students.
He said: "Cornwall as a county is full of great characters with so much collective potential.
"The educational facilities here such as those at Cornwall College are excellent, but if there aren't enough jobs for people at the end of it then they are wasted.
"The county needs more jobs. One job provides a person with money to spend in a gym or restaurant and that in turn goes on to create four more jobs."
Mr Kemp also visited the Dreadnought Centre in Pool, a charity that works with young people aged between 7 and 19 who are experiencing difficulties in their lives, and was shown around by its chief executive officer Sara-Jane Charnock.
He said: "I can't understand how a county that has such huge wealth in small pockets can also be one of the most impoverished areas in Europe.
"The people of Cornwall deserve better."
In the evening, Mr Kemp held a question-and-answer session at the Centenary Wesleyan Church in Camborne discussing his career and some of the dangerous situations that he has encountered around the world. The visit was hosted by prospective Camborne, Redruth and Hayle Labour parliamentary candidate Michael Foster.
More than 150 locals of all ages packed the hall to see the star and ask him questions – many about his long- running role as the Albert Square hard man.
He happily and patiently answered three audience questions at a time over about 90 minutes, mentioning the countless times during filming of his documentaries when he had guns pointed at him and listing his most harrowing experiences as anything to do with the suffering of children.
He added: "One of the only times that I've found it hard to contain myself was when I was interviewing a man in India for the Extreme World series who had killed around 450 children."
He was rewarded with a bag of pasties from his hosts at the chapel.