A woman celebrating her 103rd birthday has put her long life down to enjoying more than a few helpings of cake.

Kathleen Murphy, from Wimbledon, grew up in Ireland, but moved to the UK to help her sister look after her sick husband before WW2.

She went on to get a job in the Ministry of Defence where she worked until her retirement.

Miss Murphy celebrated her birthday at the Woodlands Day Centre in Colliers Wood surrounded by friends, family and staff on October 19.

Asked about the secrets to her long life she said: "When I was five my mother was beside herself.

"You see I was a fussy eater and would only eat sweet things, nothing else.

"So she took me to the village doctor in Skibbereen.

"The doctor took one look at me and said ‘well whatever she’s eating she looks well on it, so don’t be worrying.’

"All my life I was told by well-meaning friends ‘eat such and such, you won’t survive on chocolate and fancy cakes’ - and where are they now?"

Miss Murphy has been visiting the Woodlands Day Centre every day without fail since it opened in 2000 - except on her 100th birthday when she was whisked away to visit her nephews, aged 94 and 93, in Cork.

Janet Hooper, manager at the Woodlands Day Centre, said: "Kathleen came in on our first day when we opened in 2000 saying ‘I’ll try it for the day’. "Twelve years on and she hasn't missed a day, and that’s seven days a week".