ROYLE Family star Ricky Tomlinson loves Coedpoeth so much he has just bought a home in the village.

The big-hearted Scouse actor was in the area yesterday morning to officially open the newly-refurbished Cherry Tree Care Home in High Street.

He had been invited along because of his family connections with the village.

Revealing how close those ties now are, he said: “I really love the area.

“In fact, I love it so much I’ve just bought a little cottage just a few hundred yards away from where we are now.”

Ricky also talked about the Royle Family’s Christmas Day special, which he promised would be a “real cracker”.

He added: “It’s one of the best we’ve done so far and is going to be full of laughs.”

And it won’t be the last seasonal edition of the smash-hit TV comedy to grace our screens.

He told the Leader: “We’ll just keep on making them until viewers get fed up of us ... which I hope they never do.”

At the opening ceremony staff and residents of the home enjoyed a handful of lively numbers from ukelele band The Formby Entertainers who specialise in recreating the music of George Formby,

They had been invited to perform because of Ricky’s well-known affection for playing the banjo.

At one stage he even borrowed one of the ukeleles to strum away and sing with the band on Formby’s old hit Grandad’s Flanellete Nightshirt, drawing huge applause and cheers from the audience.

He then explained how lucky he had been in his career, once even getting the chance to dance with Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall.

He said: “There I was dancing with her when another guy came up to us.

“I asked him if he was in show business too and he said yes because he was Robert De Niro!”

Ricky also spoke of how thrilled he was with the success of his autobiography, Ricky, which he said had reached number five in the best-seller list, notching up sales of 300,000.

“It was a warts and all story of my life and, with me, what you see is what you get.

“It was good to see it doing so well because I recently saw Cherie Blair’s autobiography going at half price.”

Cherry Tree Care Home has undergone major renovations since January and has increased its capacity from 17 to 37 beds.

It specialises in looking after residents with dementia and has Elderly Mental Health status.

Recent work on the home includes sensory gardens, a sports bar and a sensory room. Most rooms also now have en-suite and a new kitchen has been added.

Manager Debbie Davies said: “We know Ricky likes to do the banjo so we thought he would like the band.

“We’re over the moon Ricky came to visit.”