British acting veteran Sir Derek Jacobi has opened up about his chilling encounters with obsessed fans, revealing one determined woman tracked down his address and turned up on his doorstep.

The Gladiator star has detailed his sudden rise to fame in his new memoirs As Luck Would Have It, telling how he was thrust into the spotlight following the success of his 1970s Tv hit I, Claudius.

Jacobi soon became the target of a number of overzealous female fans, and he was shocked by the lengths they would go to in a bid to get close to him.

He writes, "The adoration of fans has a dark side.There were two women in America who seriously wanted to have a child by me, who wanted to have my genes while having nothing to do with me.

"And for a time there was another woman who stalked me: she found out where I lived in Stockwell (south London), and one night when I was playing Hamlet she was there waiting at the door for me to arrive home... She wanted to come into the house but I managed to prevent this and keep her on the doorstep. 'I'm not attractive enough for you, am I?' she kept saying, and I then had to talk my way out of that one. Eventually she went away, but she was threatening."

Another fan also tracked down his parents, who endured a creepy encounter at their home in east London: "The other occasion with this devotee was much nastier. She found out where my parents lived in Leytonstone, and one Sunday lunchtime she arrived on their doorstep. There was a knock on the door,' Dad told me. He went to investigate who it was and found this woman standing there with a parcel.... She thrust this parcel at Dad and told him, 'This is what your son has done to me!' She then climbed into (a waiting) taxi and left.

"They decided to open the parcel. It contained a nightdress that had been torn and stained. This was extraordinary - and, needless to say, it put them off their Sunday lunch."