Colin Firth has been granted Italian dual citizenship.

The 'Bridget Jones's Diary' star applied for the citizenship after Britain voted to exit the European Union and has now had his request granted.

He said: ''A connection with Italy has existed in my family for more than two decades now. I was married there and had two children born in Rome. My wife and I are both extremely proud of our own countries. We feel that we've made a gift of that to each other. Our children have been dual citizens since the beginning. We never really thought much about our different passports. But now, with some of the uncertainty around, we thought it sensible that we should all get the same.

''Livia is applying for a British passport. I will always be extremely British (you only have to look at or listen to me). Britain is our home and we love it here. Despite the enticements of my profession to relocate to more remunerative climes I've always chosen to base my career out of the UK and pay my taxes here. That hasn't changed.

''I married into Italy (and anyone will tell you when you marry an Italian you don't just marry one person; you marry a family and perhaps an entire country ...). Like almost everybody I have a passionate love of Italy and joining my wife and kids in being dual citizens will be a huge privilege.''

Colin has been married to Italian film producer Livia Giuggioli since 1997 and they share two children, Luca, 16, and Matteo, 14.

A statement from the Interior Ministry confirmed: ''The very famous actor, who won an Oscar for the film The King's Speech, is married to a citizen from our country and has often declared his love for our land.''