Russell Watson wows the crowds at the Big Top for Telford's 50th anniversary - in pictures

Russell Watson the 'People's Tenor' has performed for royalty and presidents the world over, but he brought smiles to the faces of Telford fans at a concert to celebrate the town's 50th birthday.

He kicked off a week-long feast of entertainment in the Big Top in Telford Town Park on Saturday to mark the golden milestone of the town and The Place theatre, in Oakengates.

As good a charmer as he is a singer, his performing style was spot on for the mainly older crowd which gathered to hear him reel off hits old and new from arias, to stage musicals and pop.

He started spot on with songs including Love Story and Moon River which featured the choir Musical Village and after couple of numbers the crowd warmed up and fully in the groove.

Folks were also soon in stitches over his stories of life on the road and the ladies cheered when he said he felt 'warm' in the tent and removed his tie and collar.

He explained: "We've been off for the summer and just started touring again. I love singing and as soon as I get back on to the stage and start singing it all comes back.

"When I get on stage after not singing for a while, it's like shock that my voice, it's still there."

There was plenty of applause for his passionate Paralami d'Amore, Serene, Volare, The Prayer, Here's to Life, Send in the Clowns added in due to the tent venue and Your Song - included as a nod to Elton John. However, huge applause from the audience was saved for his Phantom of the Opera medley featuring a duet with up and coming soprano Emily Haig and songs from Les Miserables including Empty Chairs and Bring Him Home.

"I have to say what a wonderful place for a gig and you have been a wonderful audience," he said.

It was a nice touch when he sang 'Happy Birthday' to Telford and even took a stroll into the audience to shake hands with people.

A polished performer Watson put everything in the delivery of each song and the fruits of his training and 28 years in the music industry was clear for all to see.

He ended the night with a tribute to the Manchester bombing survivors with Fix You and an encore of flag-waving English patriotic songs Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory which really sent the audience home on a high.end

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