Fundraising hero Captain Sir Tom Moore joked that if people find his autobiography “a bit difficult” then they could give it to someone they do not like for Christmas.
The Second World War veteran, who raised almost £33 million for the NHS by walking laps of his garden in Bedfordshire, has written a book about his life called Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day.
Sales of the book, released on Thursday, will help support his new charity, that aims to spread hope, called The Captain Tom Foundation.
The 100-year-old said he “found it very interesting” to write the book.
“I hope you’ll all read it and pass it on to some people,” he said.
“But if you find it a bit difficult, when it comes to Christmas, give it to all the people you don’t really like and maybe they’ll never speak to you again.”
He joked that some of his memories were “so old people won’t really know what I’m talking about”.
“It was very, very interesting because I tried to remember a lot of things, and then by remembering one thing I remembered another, and brought on so many other things which I’d forgotten about that were really very interesting,” he said.
“Remembering things that also it would have been better if I’d forgotten them.
“It was quite good and certainly enjoyable to go back so far when I can remember my grandfather, what they were like.”
He said his proudest moment was when he met the Queen and was knighted by her.
“That was a point in my life that I will always remember,” he said.
“That was a great day.”
He said that seeing his late wife Pamela, who died in 2006, in a care home inspired him to set up his new charity.
“One day she said ‘if you didn’t come and see me I would be very lonely’,” he said.
“That struck a point in my heart, that was terrible really.”
He said he wants the Captain Tom Foundation to give people hope for the future.
“I just hope we’ll go on and everybody will help to give a little bit of hope to all the people who are in need of it,” he said.
“They aren’t all old people. There are some young people who are not very happy with their present life.
“They need a little bit of hope, a little bit of care, and come along and give them a little pat on the head.
“Because as I was saying before, tomorrow is a good day, and a lot of these people need some help as they’re struggling a bit at the moment.
“I’ve always been an optimistic person. I’ve always looked ahead and if you have a poor time it won’t last long.
“You will get better, everything will get better.
“Look at today, the sun’s coming out. Everything’s getting better today.”
Captain Tom had set out to raise £1,000 by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday in April.
His daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, said that what followed had been an “incredible experience”.
“We believe we’ve been given both a gift and a huge responsibility to do the right thing,” she said.
“We’ve been given a chance to do something powerfully good and we want to do the best we can.
“Resonating into the reason we set up the foundation is to create legacy for my father.
“There was no question when we realised that the world was watching and the world was interested and he was sending hope around the world, that we had to do something to create his legacy.
“So we have created the Captain Tom Foundation for a more hopeful world, inspiring hope where it’s needed most.”
His family have chosen four charities with whom they will work to provide support and spread hope – the mental health charity Mind, The Royal British Legion, Helen and Douglas House children’s hospice in Oxfordshire, and Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes.