UK's oldest man turns 109

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Reg Dean celebrated his 109th birthday yesterday, revelling in his unofficial status as Britain's oldest man. The former church minister from Wirksworth in Derbyshire is currently five years short of the world record, held by 114-year-old Jiroemon Kimura of Japan.

But in taking 125 members of his choir out for dinner to celebrate his latest landmark birthday, he showed every desire to one day hold the title of the world's oldest man.

"I've had a fantastic life," he told the BBC. "Too fantastic to even describe. I'll be here next year and the year after that. Maybe even the one after that – you never know."

Mr Dean was born in Tunstall, Staffordshire, in 1902. He served as a chaplain during the Second World War, stationed in Burma, and following his return home he became interested in singing, eventually going on to form the Dalesmen Male Voice Choir in 1987. He was proclaimed the UK's oldest man last June, following the death at 110 of Stanley Lucas.