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Last Updated: Monday, 15 December, 2003, 16:49 GMT
Oldest man marks 114th birthday
World's oldest living man Joan Riudavets Moll
Never too old to appreciate a party

The world's oldest man, Joan Riudavets Moll, on Monday celebrates his 114th birthday in his home town on the island of Menorca.

The Spaniard is recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest living man whose date of birth can be fully authenticated.

Mr Riudavets acquired the title after the death in September of another 114-year-old, Japan's Yukichi Chuganji, Spanish television reports.

Born on 15 December 1889, Mr Riudavets made his entrance in the same year as Charlie Chaplin, not long after the Eiffel Tower was completed.

And as his mother died in the month he was born, he may also hold the world record for surviving a parent.

His father was a cobbler - he exported shoes to the then Spanish colony of Cuba - and Mr Riudavets followed in the family business until his retirement in 1954.

Healthy living

He has two surviving brothers aged 104 and 98, plus a host of children and other relatives.

And the secret of his longevity? "Living life in moderation," says the Guinness World Records.

"He smoked but not too much, and he likes to eat a little but often."

Mr Riudavets has "a typically Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, tomatoes, fish and bread," the Guinness World Records says.

And he also enjoyed an "active life, playing a lot of football - as well as singing and playing the guitar".

Health is the most important thing to him, Mr Riudavets says, adding he likes to take things one day at a time.

"All I need is one day more, and if I get another year, then all the better," he says.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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