My haven: When he's not on tour, the tenor, Russell Watson, 45, relaxes in the cinema room of his Cheshire home
22:31 GMT, 27 April 2012
Movie buff: When Russell's at home he likes to crash out in his cinema room with a good film
1 BOX-OFFICE HIT
Singing takes me all over the world, but wherever I
am I try to stay in contact with my two wonderful daughters, Rebecca and
Hannah, who are 17 and 11. Sometimes they join me abroad and we've had
terrific holidays in places like Malaysia, just spending quality time
together. And when I'm home we like to crash out here in the cinema room
with a good film – I'm a fan of comedies – on the big screen. It's just
like being at the movies.
2 FERGIE FAN
I'm a lifelong fan of Manchester United – and their
manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Performing at their ground, Old Trafford, in
1999 was a real honour. When I hit the top B in Nessun Dorma it felt
like I'd hit the ball into the top corner of the net: the whole place
erupted into this big cheer. This picture shows Sir Alex presenting me
with my first platinum disc after the performance – I love it even
though I do look about 12.
3 LUCKY TO BE ALIVE
It was while I was playing Parson Nathaniel in
the stage version of Jeff Wayne's The War Of The Worlds album in 2006
that I started suffering awful headaches. A specialist said it was
stress but it was a brain tumour. Thankfully that's all behind me now,
but I'm conscious of how lucky I was. Jeff gave me this cross from the
show, etched with a message congratulating my performance, and every now
and then I look at it and count my blessings.
4 GRANNY'S GIFT
My dear old gran, Phyllis, passed away last year
aged 86. We were close throughout her life and she encouraged me to
pursue a singing career. She was the heart of the family – and she'd
always tell you the truth. Once I forgot to call her on her birthday and
she gave me a right earful, bless her! Granny never had much money but
she gave me this little china donkey once, and whenever I look at it I
think of her.
5 BACK IN THE DAY
About four years ago I bought four paintings by
Steven Scholes, a Lancashire artist whose work portrays Manchester in
its industrial heyday. They weren't cheap but I'm intrigued by them; I
think his work is incredibly evocative of the past. This one is a 30s
street scene and the architectural detail is amazing. I'd love to travel
back to the Manchester of that time to see what it was really like,
even if it was only for a day.
6 THE POPE AND I
Pope John Paul II sent this letter to me after I
performed at the Vatican in 2001. I sang in this amazing auditorium with
30 red-robed cardinals in front of me, the Pope in his private box, and
a 110-piece Italian orchestra behind me. I remember thinking, 'Crikey,
four years ago I was singing at Wigan Working Men's Club.' The letter
thanks me for the CD I gave the Pope, and adds, 'His Holiness will
remember you in his prayers'.
Russell begins a UK tour on 31 May. Visit www.russellwatson.com. His latest DVD is Russell Watson: The Return Of The Voice.