Who is Russell Watson? I’m A Celebrity 2020 contestant and opera singer

RUSSELL WATSON has been showing off his impressive singing ability since he was a child – and now he’s joined I’m A Celebrity.

The opera singer didn’t enter the castle with the original starting line-up, but was soon given an introduction into life on the show as he joined later with Ruthie Henshall.

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 Russell is appearing on I'm A Celebrity 2020

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Russell is appearing on I’m A Celebrity 2020Credit: Rex Features

Who is Russell Watson?

Russell Watson, 53, was born in Gildersome, Yorkshire, on November 24, 1966.

During his time at Irlam Endowed Primary School and Irlam and Cadishead High School he enjoyed singing in his spare time.

It wasn’t until he was in his 20s that he started earning money by performing an Elvis Presley tribute across clubs in the North West of England.

After setting his sights on classical music in the 1990s, he’s become known by the British public as the People’s Tenor and The Voice.

 Russell is a 53-year-old opera singer

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Russell is a 53-year-old opera singerCredit: Getty Images – Getty

How did Russell Watson become famous?

The 53-year-old first discovered his talent for classical singing when he spent a night at Wigan Road Working Men’s Club.

When a worker asked him to perform Nessun Dorma, he impressed locals with his stunning rendition.

In 1990, he was catapulted further into the limelight when he won Piccadilly Radio’s Search for a Star contest in Manchester.

 Initially, Russell didn't think about starting a professional singing career

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Initially, Russell didn’t think about starting a professional singing careerCredit: PA:Press Association Wire

What performances is the People’s Tenor famous for?

After pulling off stunning performances at the Rugby League Challenge Cup and at an Old Trafford football match in 1999, Russell attracted the attention of manager Perry Hughes.

In 2001, his debut album, The Voice, shot to the top of the UK classical chart and scooped Album of the Year at the Classic Brit Awards in 2001.

Russell is also known for singing the opening theme for Star Trek: Enterprise and performing at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in 2002.

He toured with Aled Jones in 2019 after the pair performed together on Songs of Praise: The Big Sing in 2010.

The pair released an album, Black In Harmony.

 In August 2015 Russell married his girlfriend of five years, Louise Harris

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In August 2015 Russell married his girlfriend of five years, Louise HarrisCredit: Getty Images

What TV shows has Russell Watson been on?

The popular singer is famous for being a judge on BBC One’s talent show Last Choir Standing, which began in 2008.

His vocals were also heard on the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special.

Another note-worthy telly appearance occurred in 2008, when he sang on the HMS Belfast in London to mark the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

 Opera singer Russell Watson pictured after he was discharged following life-saving surgery on his brain tumour

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Opera singer Russell Watson pictured after he was discharged following life-saving surgery on his brain tumourCredit: PA:Press Association Archive

Is Russell Watson married?

In August 2015 Russell married his girlfriend of five years, Louise Harris, in the Spanish village of Benahavís.

The singer has two daughters from his previous marriage to Helen Watson.

Did Russell Watson’s brain tumour affect his career?

After battling a benign but aggressive brain tumour the previous year, Watson was diagnosed with his second pituitary tumour in 2007.

The Brit opera star was told he would never sing again after a seven-hour op to remove the growth, which haemorrhaged in four places.

Following his time at the Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle, Manchester, he remained in the hospital’s Intensive Therapy Unit and also underwent radiotherapy treatment at Christie Hospital.

Despite fears that his performing days could be gone forever, Russell went on to make a full recovery.

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! teases the entrance of Russell Watson

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