AN 85-YEAR-OLD widower is inspiring people to combat loneliness by taking up a series of adventurous challenges including wing walking and sky diving.

Father-of-two Ken Watson, of Barry, has decided to embarked on an adventure and take up some unusual hobbies – rather than sit at home watching daytime television.

Mr Watson, a retired commercial deep sea diver, has so far taken to the skies – standing on the roof of a Boeing Stearman biplane – and also completed a parachute jump over Swansea airspace, three times.

Mr Watson, who was a cook during his National Service at RAF Holton and ran and worked in his family's Cardiff bakery business – The Watsona Bakery, has sought adventure and company since 86-year-old wife Beryl, died in February 2012.

Mr Watson, a keen metal detectorist, classical music and opera fan, wood turner, accordion player, election canvasser, and Great British Bake Off viewer, said he can go long periods of time without speaking to anyone and the activities get him out of the house.

He is also returning to writing his previously put-off book.

Mr Watson said: “I can go for up to six days without speaking to anyone.

"After my wife had passed away I took a long time to settle. There’s a space around me. I still hear her voice and speak to her.

"I began parachute jumping. I enjoy these sort of things – I feel the rush of the air.

"The second jump was the best. I thought ‘gosh I’m an eagle’.

“Wing walking isn’t scary. I looked on the computer and it said 63 was the age limit, but as long as you have a medical certificate to say you are in good health it’s all right.

"I think my deep sea diving days helped. When I was considering becoming a diver I remember my wife said, ‘If you don’t try it you may always regret it'.”

Mr Watson, who has arthritis but is in otherwise good health, says he wants to urge others of all generations to follow his lead, and is interested in generating ideas for activities he can pursue.

He said he already has a micro-light flight and hang-gliding in mind, but a bungee jump is strictly off limits.