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Russell Watson's Biography

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Russell Watson was born in Salford on November 24, 1974.

His father was a steel worker and his mother worked at Woolworths before given up her job to look after Russell and his sister Hayley.

Russell Watson was a bolt-cutter and at night he sang in local clubs. One night at the Wigan Road Working Men's Club he added Nessun Dorma to his repertoire, and the then chairman of Manchester United, whom Watson supported, heard Russell sing at a charity evening.

It was Watson's big breakthrough as he was asked to perform Nessun Dorma at Old Trafford before the last game of Manchester United's premiership winning season.

His debut album, The Voice, soon followed and it became the fastest-selling classical record in British history and even reached No.5 in the UK pop charts, and was followed by another hugely successful album, Encore.

Russell Watson's UK success was mirrored in the USA.

Watson's career was interrupted by a lump on his vocal chord. He had it surgically removed but it was some time and much training before Watson sang again.

Russell Watson was a replacement for Rick Astley in the first series of Just The Two Of Us, where he teamed up with Sian Reeves. In spite of having less practice than anyone else, they ended up winning Just the Two of Us, beating Mark Moraghan and Natasha Hamilton into second place.

Russell Watson married Helen, when he was 24, however they split up.

Watson has had a romance with New York-based receptionist Roxanna Valerio.

In September 2006, Russell Watson had an emergency operation to remove a brain tumour. He made a good recovery and the BBC announced that Watson would be back for the second series of Just the Two of Us, however in December 2006 it was announced that he would have to pull out.

In October 2007, the BBC reported that Watson was in a critical condition after brain surgery to remove an aggressive tumour.

He later described how he thought he was "not going to make it" through emergency brain surgery to remove the tumour.

In February 2008, the BBC reported that Russell Watson has completed a five-week course of radiotherapy to treat a recurrent brain tumour.

A month later, it was revealed that Russell Watson was planning a UK tour starting in Glasgow on 9 June and finishing at Newcastle City Hall on 7 July.

Russell Watson's autobiography Finding My Voice was published on 5 June 2008.

In the summer of 2008, Russell Watson was lined up to be a judge alongside Sharon D Clarke and Suzi Digby in the BBC1 series, Last Choir Standing.

In 2008, Russell Watson released an album, People Get Ready.

On November 22 2010, Russell Watson released a new album La Voce, recorded with the Roma Sinfonietta.

In 2020, he became one of the contestants on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. He came 8th.

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