Pirates of the Caribbean star Orlando Bloom came under fire after his recent Radio 1 interview, where he used the word "pikey" to describe himself. Considered as a derogatory term for travellers, the word raised a storm over social media as angry fans took to Twitter to slam the Hollywood actor.

Since the public backlash over the use of a racial slur, Bloom – a former public schoolboy from Canterbury – has sought to explain following the interview.

"I've come from Kent and I grew up with a lot of, like, freewheeling, cool, interesting characters like that," the actor said, "I certainly wasn't taking a slant at that at all. I'm very respectful."

All of this began when the 40-year-old actor appeared on Nick Grimshaw's Breakfast Show to promote his new movie, Unlocked.

During the conversation, the radio show host enquired the actor if he performs his own stunts. To which, the unhesitant Bloom replied "I'm still a pikey from Kent, boy, I'm still a pikey from Kent. You don't want to get on the wrong side of me, boy."

Unfortunately, the comment did not go down well with the listeners and fans of the show and the actor as they took to social media to express their misgiving. His use of the "racially abusive term is worrying" said the National Gypsy-Traveller-Roma Council.

One Twitter user wrote, "No, Orlando Bloom on @R1Breakfast @BBCR1, you're not a 'pikey from kent'. It's a racist slur! #radio1 #traveller #gypsy #racism"

"I love that Orlando Bloom keeps saying pikey on Radio 1 when there was a whole feature on there about how offensive that is the other day," added another.

Following the interview, host Grimshaw made an effort to control the situation saying, "Great to have him on the show, but apologies if you were offended by anything that Orlando may have said earlier on."

Later BBC issued a statement: "As with any live broadcast, we take great care to ensure all guests are briefed about their language before going on air.

"We apologised to listeners afterwards for any offence caused."