TV Apprentice star Ricky Martin opens home

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APPRENTICE star and local boy Ricky Martin took time out from running his firm to open new bungalows at a care home.

The 28-year-old former wrestler visited Parker Meadows, in Redlands Lane, Fareham, on Saturday to open six new homes.

(l-r) Ricky Martin winner of BBC TV show Apprentice 2012, Michelle Newcombe home manager, Geraint Williams admissions manager and Michael Sapsford regional manager.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (14694-273) PPP-140803-124221001

(l-r) Ricky Martin winner of BBC TV show Apprentice 2012, Michelle Newcombe home manager, Geraint Williams admissions manager and Michael Sapsford regional manager.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (14694-273) PPP-140803-124221001

Ricky, originally from Stubbington, visits the home often as his grandfather David Partridge, 84, lives there.

Speaking to The News, he said: ‘We were in a position just under 12 months ago looking at lots of care homes locally, finding the right care home for grandad.

‘We decided here, it’s a nice place, he’s been comfortable ever since.

‘I’m trying to do more and more with the Alzheimer’s Society to try and promote awareness about dementia, so when the guys asked me here I was flattered.’

Residents at the home recognise Ricky after his victory on Lord Alan Sugar’s tough Apprentice TV show in 2012.

He picked up a £250,000 investment for his science and medical firm, Hyper Recruitment Solutions, which is based in Essex.

He added: ‘It’s a nice feeling, particularly as I’ve moved out of the area now. This is where my roots are, where my family are.’

He said he is celebrating as his firm has grown from just himself to employing 11 people and it is now making a profit.

He added: ‘It’s going well. It’s always tough when you set up your own business.

‘Once we get to five years I’ll feel more comfortable but we’ve done well for two years.

‘Lord Sugar is very happy. That’s always a good thing.

‘I speak to him probably daily. He’s always walking over, seeing what’s going on.’

And dressed in a three-piece grey suit he told The News there was no chance of his wrestling alter-ego Ricky Hype making an appearance anytime soon.

Parker Meadows admission manager Geraint Williams added: ‘We’re expanding our care village. It’s great, Ricky’s part of the family now.’

Jane Blatch-Gainey, 45, of Beaconsfield Road, was looking at the bungalows for her aunt.

She said: ‘They’re very nice, quite spacious.’