After almost 50 years in action films, Jackie Chan  is such a recognisable face that his privacy is almost gone.

“I can’t go out any more,” he told The Observer. “I used to love coming to London. I’d go to antiques shops and markets, walk around, go to the theatre.

"Now I just stay in the hotel. I eat in the hotel, sleep in the hotel, do interviews in the hotel. Then I leave. If I go out people follow me, surround me, shout, take pictures.”

Anonymity for the 60-year old actor in China is not guaranteed either. He once tried to buy a pair of shoes, but the shop was surrounded, he recalls, by “something like 20,000 people. They had to get the police special forces to create a cordon for me to run out through.”

He misses the privacy of the early years. “I used to wander around with my sunglasses on and people wouldn’t know it was me. But one day I woke up and the whole world knew Jackie Chan, from tiny children to old people.

"That was around 27 years ago. Since then it has been the same everywhere I go. So many people want a piece of Jackie Chan.”

Chan is currently promoting his latest film Chinese Zodiac, which was shot in the South Pacific. He is currently filming Dragon Blade with Adrian Brody and John Cusack.