UK crime writer John Mortimer says a glass of Champagne every morning is the secret to a long life.

The 85-year-old novelist, whose most celebrated creation, Horace Rumpole, used to drink ‘Chateau Thames Embankment’ red wine at his local wine bar, revealed his drinking habits to UK broadsheet The Guardian at the weekend.

As part of the newspaper’s What I See in the Mirror series, Mortimer wrote about his old age. He said that being in wheelchair got him ‘into aeropanes ahead of everybody’ and that he had ‘gone off’ food.

‘I don’t want false teeth,’ he said. ‘I’ve enough teeth to go on with, as I’ve gone off food. I don’t really like the taste of it in my mouth.’

The writer added that he was meant to take high-protein drinks throughout the day but that he distrusted doctors, saying each one told him something different.

‘So I stick to Champagne – not very grand Champagne,’ he said. ‘I drink it every morning, and that is the secret of a long life.’

One small glass of 12% abv wine constitutes half of the UK government’s daily limit for sensbile drinking.

Written by Oliver Styles