YOUNGSTERS at Southampton General Hospital were paid a visit by a special friend when a television star popped in to say hello.

Bear from Jim Henson's American show Bear In The Big Blue House is in the UK to promote his forthcoming live tour and took time out to drop in on some of his young fans.

Hospital spokeswoman Marilyn Kay said the visit went down very well.

She said: "He was just meeting the kids and having his photo taken and they absolutely loved it.

"All the staff wanted to have their photo taken with him, so he was an extremely popular visitor.

"The children loved him and he cheered up lots of people."