I’m A Celeb’s Russell Watson was ‘minutes from death’ as he battled brain tumour

Russell Watson joins the I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! campmates tonight, November 18.

Opera singer Russell, from Irlam, 53, is known as "The People’s Tenor", and has previously revealed that he was just minutes from death as he battled a second brain tumour..

He had his life changed while singing on the club circuit after a nightclub boss asked him to sing Nessun Dorma.

His first album The Voice spent a record 52 weeks at number one in the UK classical chart and went on to top the US charts.

The singer will have gone from performing at attic rooms and backstreet clubs, to headlining Wembley – and now a haunted Welsh castle.

It’s well documented that singer has battled two brain tumours, the first of which was diagnosed in 2006 and the second being found only a year later.

He told Sky News previously that due to the second tumour, he was actually only moments from death.

Russell said: “It was dangerous because the tumour grew very quickly. I went to bed one night and it haemorrhaged while I was asleep.

"I was lucky to survive… They literally said to me a few minutes more and I'd have been dead."

The dad-of-two says it changed his outlook on life: "If I consider my mortality, there isn't one day when I don't think about my life and am not incredibly grateful for the fact that I'm still here."

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Russell has thankfully returned to full health following a second diagnosis in 2007, and is now set to be taking part in this year’s ITV competition.

When the first signs of the tumour began to show, doctors assumed the tenor was suffering from stress.

However, a MRI scan revealed he had a tumour the size of two golf balls in his brain, which had left him struggling to see.

Russell was admitted to hospital for an emergency operation in London and surgeons removed the tumour through his nose.

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The following year, doctors discovered he had a regrowth of a tumour in his brain, and he underwent emergency surgery in Manchester.

Proving a fighter, he released his sixth studio album – titled Outside In – later that year.

The star is joining the line-up of celebs who are already camping out in a castle in north Wales.

The group includes Radio 1 DJ Jordan North, Eastenders favourite Shane Richie, Olympic legend Mo Farah and Corrie’s very own Beverley Callard.

Russell will also be joining Strictly’s AJ Pritchard, broadcasters Vernon Kay and Victoria Derbyshire, author Giovanna Fletcher, actress Jessica Plummer and Paralympian Hollie Arnold.

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