Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Russell Watson reveals plans for big screen biopic

Russell Watson has performed for the Queen (Scott Garfitt/PA)
Russell Watson has performed for the Queen (Scott Garfitt/PA)

Russell Watson has revealed he is in talks for a big screen biopic of his life.

The classical music star, who has survived two pituitary tumours and performed for the Queen, Pope John Paul II and Bill Clinton, said he was in the “early stages” of discussions about the project.

Figures from the film industry have told him his story is like “Billy Elliot with bells on”, he said.

Starting out performing in clubs around the North West while working on factory floors, Watson found overnight fame with the release of his debut album The Voice in 2000 and went on to perform in prestigious venues across the world.

The 54-year-old is celebrating two decades in music with the release of 20, an album featuring newly recorded versions of highlights from his career, and a tour in 2021.

He told the PA news agency: “It’s something, to be fair, that we have been talking about recently. Someone was talking about even turning my career into a film. We are in the early stages of discussing those types of things.

“The people we were talking to at the time were saying it is like Billy Elliot with bells on. I came from a working class background, best-selling classical artist of the century in the UK, top two best-selling albums of the century, and all the people who I have sung for, coming through the health issues I have come through and everything. They like the idea of the story.

The Global Awards 2020 with – Show – London
Russell Watson performs with Aled Jones (Scott Garffitt/PA)

“Some of the stuff I have done, I have to pinch myself sometimes. When I think about the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games when I sang there, and the private concert for Pope John Paul II.”

Watson was dubbed the “People’s Tenor” because of his working class upbringing in Salford and his rapid rise to fame, performing privately for figures including Emperor Hirohito of Japan at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

However, in 2005 he began having headaches and was diagnosed with a pituitary adenoma the size of two golf balls, and underwent a five-hour operation to have it removed.

Two years later he suddenly became incapacitated while recording his album Outside In and doctors discovered a regrowth, which was also successfully removed.

Russell Watson leaves hospital
Russell Watson after he was discharged following life-saving surgery on his brain tumour (Martin Rickett/PA)

Earlier this year he competed in the ITV reality show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, which was held in a Welsh castle due to coronavirus, finishing eighth.

Watson said he had used his dramatic weight loss from the show’s gruelling challenges and lack of food to improve his diet and cut out caffeine.

He said: “I’ve dropped a full suit size. I was just under 20lbs lighter when I came out and I am now 23lbs lighter because as soon as I came out I just changed.

“I cut caffeine out, that was the first thing, so I have not be drinking coffee, and I have just been eating better food and smaller amounts, more often, than having big dinners.

“I have the cut the alcohol down as well, the Diet Coke. All the bad habits that I had before I went in I have cut out.

“And I have been going to the gym and I have lost a bit more weight as well. I think I have plateaued as well because I have not lost anything this past week.

“I have kept the weight off and I intend to keep it off as well.”

20 by Russell Watson is out now. His 20th anniversary tour will now take place in 2021.

Already a subscriber? Sign in