Slash thinks the UK is one of the "best rock and roll" places in the world.

The former Guns N' Roses guitarist - who was born West Hampstead, London, to an English father and an African-American mother before moving to Stoke-on-Trent and then Los Angeles - revealed he has a "soft spot" for the Great Britain because the people are some of the "most down-to-earth".

He said: "I love touring the UK. Yeah, I have a sort of soft spot in my heart for the UK, just because I'm sort of hailing from there, and it just to me is one of the best rock and roll places in the world, its one of the most honest and the most down-to-earth and whatever.

"So when I was about 21 years old, we first came over and played here and was embraced by the UK, well in London especially at that time because that's where we were playing.

"It meant a lot to me to sort of be accepted in the UK as a rock and roll band, especially as an American rock and roll band, because most American hard rock bands in those days especially were sort of laughed at by the UK audience. So it was really cool and I've always had a soft spot for that."

The 45-year-old musician - who will visit Stoke for the first time since he was five later this summer when he plays a gig in the city - counts British rock band The Rolling Stones as his "favourite", and regard the group's guitarist Ronnie Wood, who he's known since he was a teenager, as a "great influence".

He added to Leona Graham in an interview airing on Absolute Classic Rock this morning (22.07.11): "Ronnie's a great influence still, to this day, but yeah, you know, the Stones are probably hands-down my favourite rock and roll band."