A FORMER showman and boxer celebrated his 90th birthday this week.

Wallis Hodis, of Tudor Court, reflected on the secrets to leading a long and happy life.

He said: “I thought that being 90 would mean your nose is running, you’re not able to hear anyone one and you just sit by yourself, but it isn’t like that at all.

“I was in show business for most of my life, but I have done a lot of things. “Through performing I have been able to meet a lot of people, and become friends with people you never think that you would meet.”

In his youth Wallis performed comedy under the name Tony Martell. His work has included working with John Cleese in the Taming of the Shrew, and holding an eight-week run of his show in Bournemouth with Freddie Starr.

Prior to treading the boards, Wallis tried his luck in the ring as a bouncer.

He said: “It was horrible, because it affected my looks, and I was told that as a young man I was very good looking.

“When I would sing on stage girls would whistle at me which was very flattering.

“I still have pictures of back then, and it is nice to see the way I was.”

But anyone with designs on Wallis is out of luck, as he has been happily married to Barbara, 80, for 52 years.

He said: “The key to a happy marriage is to have one purse, not two as money is the root of all evil.

“We have both worked hard, so we put it all together and it makes for a nice life.

“Barbara’s never been one for presents, and so for birthdays I would write her poetry.”

And the budding writer has not stopped yet, and continues to pen books for children.

And his secret to staying activeg

? Don’t drink too much and be kind to others.

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