Middleton Cheney centenarian in BBC Panorama documentary about old age

George Emmerson, centre, on his 100th birthday in October, 2015. Front from left: Mary Marron, George, Lesley Forester, Molly Jenkins, Moya Burns. Back from left: organist Helen Mason, Linda Kimber, Dawn Gentry and Fr. Bill Wilton PNL-150610-151615001

A centenarian from Middleton Cheney featured on a BBC Panorama documentary about what it is like to be 100-years-old last night (Monday, October 23).

George Emmerson was interviewed by presenter Joan Bakewell at his home where he told her about his life and how he gets by.

The 102-year-old was a tax officer and amateur artist, who apparently liked to send small paintings with his tax enforcement letters.

George told the Banbury Guardian he watched the show last night with some friends and has been inundated with calls and attention, with stories in national newspapers and BBC Radio Northampton.

“I thought the old people who were in it, not once did one of them grumble, we live every minute of our lives and that’s what I told the BBC,” he said.

“I don’t like sleeping, I like speaking, I can remember everything, my mind is as sharp as it ever was, I can remember the First World War when I was three years old, I’ve lived a full life.”

Panorama described him as ‘acutely lonely’ and the documentary sees social services workers discussing his care needs with his son.

George insists he does not need additional care as he can rely on his cleaner, who he has a strong bond with.

“She’s absolutely fantastic, she came this morning and woke me up and made my breakfast, I can’t speak enough of her,” he said.

Six other pensioners were interviewed having reached 100 years of age for the BBC One show, to see what it is like for centenarians in the UK in 2017.

The documentary makers visited George several times a few weeks ago, with a television crew even staying overnight once. He added that Joan was very friendly and they had a great time chatting on the settee.

To watch the show, click here.

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