CLAIM: Anger over 'scary city' jibe by star

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ONE is the rough and tough American home of rapper Eminem, the other is our own fair city.

ONE is the rough and tough American home of rapper Eminem, the other is our own fair city. But Peterborough-born pop star Andy Bell has coupled his home city Peterborough with crime-ridden Detroit as "the most scary places on the planet".

In a national newspaper interview, the singer with chart-topping '80s band Erasure – who grew up in Woodston – claimed that as a boy he found life in Peterborough tough.

The former King's School pupil claimed he had been called names and beaten up.

But, today angry councillors rubbished the singer's "scary" claim.

Cllr Trevor Withers, who represents Fletton ward, said Andy's claim that Peterborough was as scary as Detroit was utter rubbish.

He said: "These comments are not justified. The majority of people in Peterborough are genuine, first-class people.

"Somebody like that. who is now earning mega-money, should think about his roots.

"His comments are ridiculous – he wants to think about all the people in Peterborough who have helped him."

Gary Longman, head of King's School, in Park Road, where Andy was asked to leave after missing classes, said he would be very surprised if Peterborough was one of the scariest places in the world.

He added: "I'm quite happy to walk the streets of Peterborough.

"I'd be interested to know why he's said that – as, I think, would the people of Peterborough."

City mayor Cllr David Raines said: "I've lived in Peterborough all my life, and I've never found it to be scary.

"It doesn't compare at all with Detroit. ''

'I felt safe here' – Andy Bell

WHEN pop star Andy Bell returned to the city in 1997 on a visit to Dogsthorpe Junior School – where he had been a pupil and choirboy – he told The Evening Telegraph: "Coming back makes me realise how secure and safe I felt here.''

His comment was in marked contrast with his latest scathing remarks about the city in a national newspaper.

Andy, who achieved fame when Erasure's single Sometimes topped the charts in 1986, was born at Thorpe Hall, in the city's Thorpe Road, when it was a maternity unit.

He last appeared in Peterborough at a charity concert in 1988.