Brad Pitt is known as Dabbo in the Ethiopian village where he's become a father figure to kids hungry to learn - because locals are convinced he's called Bread.

The movie star has pumped his own cash into the community and took US newswoman Diane Sawyer with him on his recent trip back, which was filmed for TV news show PRIMETIME LIVE.

While walking down one of the makeshift streets in the shanty town on the show, which aired last night (07JUN05), kids ran up to greet their American hero, unaware of his superstar status and started chanting 'Dabbo'.

He explained, "The last time I came here, they kept thinking I was saying 'Bread', and dabbo means bread."

Pitt visited locals he has befriended, including two orphaned sisters desperately trying to fund their education and a woman who was dying of AIDS and tuberculosis in a tiny hut, while her daughter watched on helpless.

And he also took time to point out that it only costs $16 (GBP8.45) to fund a child's tuition for a year in Ethiopia - "that's uniform and books".

The news special also featured a Pitt tribute from rocker Bono, who first encouraged the movie star to get personally involved in the effort to help struggling kids in Africa and raise awareness of the country's crippling AIDS, poverty and starvation problems.

Bono said, "Brad Pitt is an extraordinary man. He's a gigantic movie star but he's very modest... He said, 'I'd love to go to Africa.' People say things to you but they don't follow through. He's following through."

In an interview accompanying the Primetime Live footage, Pitt admitted he has taken life in America for granted for far too long and now feels compelled to help Africans.

He explained, "I try to picture what the evenings are like there and I can't fathom it."

In the news special, the movie star also spent time with African prostitutes, who constantly dice with death for just $2.50 (GBP1.35) a time.

He asked Sawyer, "Is that with or without the contraception?"

08/06/2005 09:16