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Celebrating her 100th birthday with a record breaking abseil

Doris Long, 100 years old on Sunday, with her 'toy boy' assistant Fred Dinenage Credit: Robin Britton

Doris Long, Hampshire's fearless centenarian, celebrates her 100th birthday on Sunday and confirms her status as the World Oldest Abseiler with a record breaking descent in Portsmouth - with ITV News Meridian presenter, Fred Dinenage.

Daring Doris is a great, great-grandmother and was born in 1914 just before the outbreak of World War 1. She is raising money for The Rowans Hospice which has helped more than 7,000 patients and their families across Portsmouth and south Hampshire.

Doris's latest charity challenge takes place on Sunday 18th May at 1pm at the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. She will be joined 'on line' by Fred Dinenage who previously abseiled down a tower block with Doris on a previous fundraising bid.

Fred 'very nervous' Dinenage, Doris 'Daring' Long and Stacey Poole in the ITV News Meridian studios Credit: Sarah Cooper

Fred Dinenage is rather nervous about his latest dare-devil challenge with Doris - "I actually have a fear of heights and the thought of dangling 500ft above Portsmouth at my age, has kept me away for a week. I'll be being nervous for both of us while the amazing Doris won't break a sweat."

If you want to contribute to Doris' fund raising appeal you can do so via this Just Giving link here. We will have a full report on the record breaking attempt on Sunday on ITV.

Mad Hatter's tea party a hit

The Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll's Alison in Wonderland loved to hold a tea party - and maybe he was on to something. An organisation in Portsmouth has been holding them for 12 years, for children with serious illnesses or disabilities.

Martin Dowse - along with our very own Mad Hatter - has been to join in. He spoke to organiser Malcolm Drew and Rob Martin.


Exclusive: Fred Dinenage interviews Major Tim Peake

ITV News Meridian's Fred Dinenage flew out to Germany to interview Major Tim Peake to find out what it takes to become an astronaut while he was training in 2010.

The 41-year-old agreed to show Fred around the European Space Agency's training facility because he was inspired to study science by the presenter's ITV programme 'How' as a child.

Fred will catch up with Tim on ITV News Meridian at 6pm on ITV in the South.


'It's always been my dream to go into space'

Fred spoke to Major Tim Peake in 2010 Credit: ITV news

In 2010, ITV News Meridian's Fred Dinenage went to meet Major Tim Peake after he completed the first phrase of his training to go into space.

"It was absolutely a dream. For me as a test pilot, to become an astronaut is the absolute pinacle of that career" he told Fred.

"The view of the earth. Everyone says that is the most incredible thing to see".

"Learning Russian has been the toughest thing I have had to do. Your up there by yourself. There is no doctor, no engineer so you need to learn all of these skills".

The Dambusters: Fred meets a wartime legend

Next month we'll be marking one of the most famous raids in wartime history and a group of legendary airmen known as The Dambusters.

In 1943 this specially-formed unit under commander Guy Gibson attacked a series of dams in Germany in a bid to cripple the Nazi war effort, using an ingenious bomb designed to bounce along the water - a bomb tested off the coast of Kent and Dorset.

Well 70 years on there are only three Dambusters still surviving and only one in this country. His name is George ''Johnny'' Johnson.

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