Dame Esther Rantzen: I have become a country mouse since leaving London

Dame Esther Rantzen has said she has turned into a “country mouse” after moving out of London.

The broadcaster and Childline founder told Hello! magazine she has left the capital to live in the New Forest in Hampshire.

She said her grandchildren “fill my heart” and enjoy spending time at her country home.

Dame Esther Rantzen
Dame Esther Rantzen has moved to Hampshire (Lauren Hurley/PA)

“Having been a Londoner all my life, I thought I was addicted to the buzz, the theatres and the restaurants but the town mouse has turned into a country mouse,” she said.

“The New Forest was my magic place when I was a child and the grandchildren find it as magical as I did.

“It’s an extraordinary forest, where the ponies, pigs, cows and sheep roam free.”

Dame Esther Rantzen (Hello!/PA)
Dame Esther Rantzen (Hello!/PA)

She said her garden gives “infinite possibilities of hide and seek, planting sunflowers or finding a bird’s egg that’s fallen out of a nest”.

Dame Esther added: “There’s a hill the children love rolling down and recently I rolled down it myself, which made me dizzy. They also got me on the trampoline.”

She said it is “really sad” that her late husband, the broadcaster Desmond Wilcox, who died in 2000, is not around to see their grandchildren.

Read the full story in Hello! magazine, out now.