100-year-old shares thoughts and wisdom living through coronavirus pandemic

There is lots to talk about when you sit down with Owen Filer.

At 100 years old, he has lived through a world war and The Great Depression.

Despite his long life, Owen, from Cwmbran, has as much energy as somebody half his age.

"I've four kids - and they are all pensioners!", he told Rob Osborne.

"69, 71, 73, 75 - that's going some, isn't it? You won't get them in a pram will you?!".

His sense of humour is also something he hasn't lost over the years.

Owen still has an impressive sense of humour at 100 years old

ITV News' national correspondent Rob Osborne first met Owen in January on the high street in Newport.

"A man approached me and my cameraman as we were filming", Rob said.

"Our story was about how Newport had changed. The man looked older, maybe in his 70s. Ideal for some historic perspective.

'I've been here all my life, I'm a 100 years old' he tells me.

I think not.

'What year were you born?' I ask trying to catch him out.

'19/10/19 - ask my mother she was there.'

That video clip of fast became a viral sensation.

Owen Filer is now fast approaching his 101st birthday - and he is not slowing down.

A lot has changed since January.

The whole world is in the midst of a global pandemic.

ITV News caught back up with Owen to hear his thoughts about the current situation.

"This is worse than war", he said.

"It's unseen isn't it?"

Owen said the coronavirus outbreak is 'worse' than war

"I miss being able to go out and do what we should be doing.

"I'm going for a walk along the river bank - or I can go on my scooter - but it's better to walk, legs are for walking aren't they?"

Owen lived through a worldwide economic depression in the 30s which was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century.

Economists have predicated the global decline due to the coronavirus outbreak has been the worst since that time.

Owen pictured with his wife and four children Credit: Owen Filer

"We had nothing at all. My sister and me went to bed hungry asking for a sandwich. My mum would say 'there's bread in the pantry but if you have some now, you won't have it for your breakfast in the morning."

But Owen thinks there are some positives to take from the current situation - the sense of community.

"I've had people say to me - do you want anything Mr Filer? I'll do your shopping for you.

"I've never heard that before but at least they are there now. They've suddenly remembered - we've all got to help one another.

"I've had several offers, but none of marriage!"

On his secret to his long life, Owen told Rob, "There isn't one!"

"I worked all my life - 42 years on a bike pedalling back and forth to work. It is about keeping fit. Nine hours in the chair watching TV is no good."

His granddaughter also said he has a glass of whisky and a square of dark chocolate every night before bed.

  • Watch the full interview: