Britain's oldest man marks 110th birthday

Reg Dean
Image caption Mr Dean served as an army chaplain during World War II

Britain's oldest man is celebrating his 110th birthday.

A public concert was held on Saturday night for former church minister Reg Dean, from Wirksworth, Derbyshire, although he was unable to attend.

The Dalesmen Male Voice Choir, which he set up, will sing for him later.

Mr Dean, who was born in Tunstall, Staffordshire, on 4 November 1902, says the secret of his longevity is being lazy, but his family says it may be down to a potion he drank in India.

Having been unwell, Mr Dean was presented with his cake in bed.

Indian elixir

Asked how he felt, he said: "A year older than when I was 109! It has been a long year but I feel much better now.

"I can't say enough (about the birthday celebrations), it's all very kind and I did not expect it and of course I shall have another one when I am 130."

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Media captionMr Dean was serenaded as he celebrated his 110th birthday

Mr Dean, who has lived in Derbyshire since 1947, has lived through two world wars and 24 British prime ministers.

Stationed in Burma as an army chaplain during World War II, Mr Dean continued to work as a minister until his retirement at the age of 80.

He also spent 10 years working as a teacher and has been married three times.

His son, Christopher said the family had its own theory about his long life.

"When he was out in India, just before World War I, he was given an elixir by a local there.

"He did a favour for one of the locals and this guy said, 'drink this and you'll live til at least 100'.

"And he said being naive 'I just drank it' - this muddy mixture and here he is now - no one can argue with that now."

Mr Dean became Britain's oldest man after the death of 110-year-old Stanley Lucas, from Cornwall, in June 2010.

The current world record holder is 115-year-old Jiroemon Kimura from Japan.

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