THERE’S a film, surely, to be made about Russell Watson...
A former factory worker, he became a classical singer, for everyone from builders to world leaders, before battling life-threatening illness...
The story doesn’t end there and as he prepares a return to Sheffield City Hall on March 30 it is clear the Salford singer is grateful to be back.
“I walk down the street and I get so much goodwill,” says Russell, who has twice beaten a brain tumour that could have ended his life let alone his music career.
“There was a bloke on a building site the other day shouting ‘You’re looking well Russ, keep it up mate’. You can’t buy that.
“I’ve found myself enjoying it more.
“If I look back to myself in 2000-1 I wanted it so much, I was so driven it was painful. I wanted world success. I was push, push, push.
“You know what, when you’ve been through a couple of life-threatening illnesses focus changes and now I almost sit back and accept what is coming my way.
“When you sit back and say ‘If it happens, it happens’, it happens.
“When you’re pulling your hair out every day of the week it tends not to.
“It’s strange. Now I’m a bit cooler about things and I’m just enjoying this, more seems to come.”
Certainly this likeable star is even closer to some of those people who branded him ‘the people’s tenor’ – not least many battling cancer.
“One of the most rewarding things is so many people have contacted me and said my little story has inspired them.
“When you hear people saying things like that it’s genuinely rewarding.
“That’s something that really does touch you.”