A RAF veteran and former coach driver who chauffeured around music stars says he is “one of the lucky ones” after celebrating an impressive birthday.

John Northcott has been a resident at Corner House Care Home, in Clacton, for more than four years, and has now marked his 102nd birthday with a party.

Alongside dedicated staff and friends, he tucked into a fish supper, supplied by a local chip shop, before being treated to a performance from his favourite American icon.

“A really nice singer dressed as Marylin Monroe, who I used to love, came in to sing for me,” he said.

“It was a very lovely day and I really enjoyed it, but because of Covid-19 only one of my children could come and visit me in the garden.

“It’s not nice because she couldn’t come to the party but she did bring me presents.

“In my head I don’t feel 102 but I do feel it in my body.”

Mr Northcott, who has a daughter, 76, a son, 71, five grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren, lived in Wood Green, London, for most of his life.

After joining the RAF aged 21 and serving as a radio operator for six years during the Second World War, the cycling fanatic became a bus driver.

Then, as coach driver, he drove around the likes of singing stars Tommy Steele, Sir Rod Stewart and Matt Monro.

Having split from his wife of 40 years in 1980, and once his children had moved away, being constantly on the road meant he did not have to face an empty home.

“My dream was to become a professional cyclist but my instructor told me I was born to be a bus driver,” he added.

“I was quite lonely for a while but being out all day driving helped, because I truly loved driving.

“Some celebrities were really lovely and others not so much, but we did have a contract with Rod Stewart, so I got to take him to the 1984 FA Cup final.”

The Chris Froome fan did not retire from coach driving until he turned 83, and then moved to Clacton five years later to be with his daughter.

He now enjoys watching the Tour de France on his iPad and talking about the price increase of cigarettes with the younger care workers reflecting a life he is appreciative of.

“I’ve enjoyed my life and I’ve had an easy life,” he said.

“I have seen a few people come and go but I am one of the lucky ones.”