John Tinniswood
John Tinniswood, 111, poses with his certificate from the Guinness World Records, who announced that he is the world's oldest living man, in Southport, Britain. Image Credit: Guinness World Records/via REUTERS

London: The world's oldest living man, 111-year-old Briton John Tinniswood, said his longevity was "just luck" and there was no special secret to his diet - although his favourite food was fish and chips every Friday.

Tinniswood, who has been retired for more than half a century, inherited the Guinness World Records title from Venezuelan Juan Vicente Perez Mora, 114, whose death was announced earlier this week.

Born in 1912 in Merseyside, northern England, retired accountant and former postal service worker Tinniswood clocks in at 111 years and 223 days.

He gave a pithy reply when asked for the secret to his longevity, however: "You either live long or you live short, and you can't do much about it." Guinness World Records said in a statement that Tinniswood's claim to the record was assessed by its experts and by the Gerontology Research Group, which catalogues the world's confirmed "supercentenarians".

The oldest man ever was Japan's Jiroemon Kimura, who lived to 116 years and 54 days. The oldest living woman and oldest living person overall is Spain's Maria Branyas Morera, aged 117.

Tinniswood gave a somewhat measured view on the state of the world.

"The world, in its way, is always changing. It's a sort of ongoing experience... It's getting a little better but not all that much yet. It's going the right way."