Marmalade sandwiches were the only thing missing as Hugh Bonneville, star of the Paddington films, paid a visit to a Liphook school.

There was no shortage of sunshine, excited children and equally excited grown-ups on Thursday as Mr Bonneville, who played Mr Brown in the charming films, officially opened the nursery extension at Highfield and Brookham Schools.

The excited young children were left in awe as the family favourite, who also starred as Lord Grantham in Downton Abbey, read an excerpt from Michael Bond’s wonderful Paddington Bear tale.

Highfield and Brookham’s nursery, which takes children from the age of two, was extended to meet continuing strong demand.

The new open-plan extension has enabled three-form entry throughout the pre-prep. 

It measures around 100 square metres internally and has big windows which let in lots of natural light. 

It also has a retractable wall to allow a space to be closed off for the youngest children to sleep.

Highfield head Suzannah Cryer said: “These are exciting times for the school and the nursery is an amazing place to work and learn. It’s bright, lively, inspiring and full of imagination, so who better to officially open the exciting new space than Mr Brown himself?”