A Hollywood starlet has revealed how she suffered torment at the hands of school bullies because of her ginger hair.

Brighton-based teenager Dakota Blue Richards attended St Paul's School in Brighton, Blatchington Mill School in Hove and KBis Theatre School in Brighton.

She said fellow students picked on her after she dyed her hair red for her role in box office blockbuster The Golden Compass.

Speaking in the magazine One Year, Ten Stories, which is published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Dakota said: "People in school call other people names because of their hair colour, skin colour or their nationality.

"The bullies used to call me names and I found it quite hard because they were trying to hurt somebody else based on the fact that they look slightly different.

"There's so much pressure to be what people call perfect.

"I don't really understand it because if everyone looked the same it would be odd. It takes all of us to make the world.

"Dakota, 14, was plucked from obscurity for the role of Lyra Belaqua in the film based on Philip Pullman's best selling books, The Northern Lights trilogy.

Her parents in the film were played by Nicole Kidman and Bond actor Daniel Craig.

Last summer, Dakota spent two weeks in the Lake District at the Our Space camp which was organised by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

It aimed to bring together teenagers from different backgrounds to discuss human rights and discrimination.

Anyone suffering from bullying can contact the National Bullying Helpline on 0845 2255787.