TV celebrity Esther Rantzen has opened a new £6m Hampshire care home that will create up to 60 jobs.

The 72-year-old broadcaster chatted to residents at Hartwood House in Lyndhurst and was presented with flowers by pupils from the village primary school, St Michael and All Angels.

Run by Hartford Care, the home provides residential care, dementia care and nursing under one roof.

Esther, who has a house in nearby Bramshaw, said: “I was so impressed |with the imagination and care that has gone into every detail of the design, from the pictures on the walls to the comfort of the chairs.

“It just reinforces the idea that getting older can be a happy experience and care homes can be attractive and reassuring for residents and their families.”

Hartford Care is a family-owned business that was launched more than 100 years ago and now has |nine care homes in the south.

A company spokesman said Hartwood House would employ between 50 and 60 staff once all 50 residents had moved in.