Two-and-a-half years ago, Salford-born tenor Russell Watson was in intensive care in hospital fighting for his life following emergency surgery to remove a recurrent brain tumour. After a lengthy and gradual recovery, the man with not a jot of classical training returned to the studio and resumed his career.
Watson continues to enjoy huge popular appeal despite occasional but persistent criticism of his lack of training and claims that his voice is not of operatic standard. Nonetheless, the Lancastrian has sold in excess of five million albums suggesting that the music-buying public think rather more of Watson than the odd critic does.
Now, a decade or so after his breakthrough performance at an Old Trafford fixture between Manchester United and Spurs, and fighting fit, the man known as The Voice is adding some high profile summer dates.
After his St George's Day date in Jersey and the shows at Harewood House, Leeds and Meridian Park, Cleethorpes, Watson has three more UK dates.
Two additional July gigs are scheduled for the iconic locations of Woburn Abbey and Beaulieu National Motor Museum and the new dates conclude with a (possibly?) royal performance at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk in August.