By the age of 16 Aled Jones had sold six million records, brought out an autobiography, sung for the Queen, the Pope, Charles and Diana, and appeared with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra in front of a 27,000-strong crowd.
Now he’s presenter of ITV’s flagship morning show Daybreak - so it’s nice to know one of his favourite places to relax is Poulton-le-Fylde.
Aled - about to perform at The Symphony at the Tower, a huge two-day event at Hoghton Tower near Preston in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice - is married to a Blackpool girl (Claire) and though they live just outside London, he is regularly back in this area to visit his in-laws.
“I probably don’t come up as much as I used to because I’m now up at 4.40am every morning to do Daybreak, but I do still come up quite a bit and the Blackpool area will always be second home to me,” the 41-year-old said.
“My mother-in-law lives in Poulton so I’m there a lot. We stay at her house and I really like it up there.
“The pace of life is lovely, the countryside is beautiful, all the local pubs are great... it’s just a place I really enjoy being in.”
Jones’ enthusiasm for the area also stems from the fact it got him back into showbusiness.
He found fame in the 80s, aged just 12, while lead soloist in Bangor Cathedral Choir where his stunning treble voice (the highest vocal range) led to a recording contract. Three years later he sang Walking In The Air – from the animated film The Snowman – which rocketed him to international superstardom. It reached No.4 in the charts and led to an Emmy award-winning documentary about his life
But when his voice broke aged 16 - a moment parodied in amusing fashion on Spitting Image (a producer runs into the recording studio and kicks him in his private parts in a bid to make his voice go high again) - the music temporarily stopped.
It wasn’t until almost a decade later, after college and a couple of jobs, that he started singing properly again - and it happened in Blackpool.
“I got the lead in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and I think that was what brought me back into the public eye,” he said.
“I wouldn’t have missed that summer season for anything. Having my name up on the board outside Winter Gardens with some fantastic names like Les Dawson - it doesn’t get better than that really.
“We did 20 weeks at the Winter Gardens, in fact we were probably one of the last shows to do the whole summer season in a theatre that big in Blackpool. So every time I am back in town, going to see my friends in the circus or wherever, it’s always very nostalgic for me.”
Jones started recording again - he’s now done 29 albums - and an appearance on 2004’s Strictly Come Dancing led to TV and radio work, and eventually to Daybreak.
“I feel very lucky to do what I do but I never planned any of it,” he added. “Some people think I’m a bit stupid, say I should look ahead, but I’ve always been one of those people with the attitude of what will happen will happen.
“It has been amazing. I love the stuff I do now, I love doing Daybreak every morning with Lorraine (Kelly). I still keep my hand in regards the singing, which is nice. I do musicals occasionally if time permits. It is a real mixed bag, which I love.”
Talking of singing, Jones, who has two children - Emilia, 11, and eight-year-old Lucas - can’t wait to take the stage at Hoghton Tower on Saturday July 6, especially as the proceeds of the event will go to St Catherine’s Hospice.
“I am patron of a children’s hospice in Wales and anything I can do to help those brilliant places then I am more than happy to help,” he said.
“So it is a good cause, it is close to my second home – Poulton – and I know it is a really good event and one of the highlights of the year in classical music.
“Any chance I get to perform in the open air with an orchestra then great. Even if it’s raining, bring it on - I’m a glutton for punishment!”
Jones is on stage on the Saturday, supported by Sophie Evans, star of the BBC’s Over The Rainbow, and the Heart of England Philharmonic Orchestra. 24 hours earlier, on Friday July 5, 80s chart-toppers The Human League headline a night that includes The Christians.
The two-day Symphony at the Tower event (cancelled last year because of bad weather) will come to a spectacular finale with a huge firework display. Tickets for the Friday are £29.50 advance or £32 on the night; on Saturday it’s £35 advance or £37 on the night. Under fives are free on the Saturday, with half price entry for five to 16-year-olds. Weekend tickets are available for £49.50. To buy go to www.stcatherines.co.uk or call the box office on 0844 888 9991.