Sir Tom Jones may be 79, but he neither looks, feels nor acts his age, hitting the gym daily to pound on the cross trainer listening to his favourite workout track, Great Balls Of Fire.
And the Welsh singing legend is my, my, my delightful when he talks about his big 80th birthday, coming up on June 7.
He says: “I’m not there yet, so I don’t count my chickens. But 80, my God, I can’t believe it. When I go to the toilet for the third time during the night, I look in the mirror and go, ‘Who’s that old b*****d in there? And I go, ‘Oh, it’s me’.”
Tom’s singing career began in the 1960s, when he had hits with Delilah, It’s Not Unusual and What’s New Pussycat?.
And almost 60 years on, he has a three-month tour kicking off in May, and is currently on telly as a coach on ITV talent show The Voice.
Tom says: “I don’t feel anything like my age. It’s only when you look in the mirror, you can’t get around it. You’re getting older and that’s it. But, the way I feel, thank God, I don’t have anything major.
“My health is good and I love life and I love to sing. I get everything checked out, you know what I mean? Some fellas are a little shy to go. It’s such a simple bloody thing, to check the prostate.”
He tells how he urged pal Jimmy Tarbuck to get tested. Tom says: “I said, ‘Go and get it checked. You’ll regret
it if something happens’.”
Comic Jimmy, 80, is now having treatment for prostate cancer, and Tom says: “Jimmy says, ‘You’ve saved my life’.”
Tom’s wife Linda died, aged 75, in April 2016, from lung cancer. They had been married 59 years and have a son, Mark.
Tom says: “Once cancer gets a hold of you, you’re in trouble. I saw that with my wife, God bless her, with lung cancer.”
Now living in London, Tom made a New Year’s resolution to go to the gym daily. He says: “My favourite is the cross trainer – it hits a lot of places at once. I can listen to music and go for it. I do at least 30 minutes. I try to up the resistance every time.”
So, what does Tom Jones have on his gym playlist? He says: “I always go to 50s rock and roll – Jerry Lewis, Little Richard, Elvis, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry. When in doubt Great Balls of Fire. That’s it.”
He hopes to continue working on The Voice for some time.
He says: “I love doing it and have the energy, so why not? There’s no dog acts, or jugglers. This is about singing, which hopefully I know something about.”
Tom is unsure how he will celebrate turning 80, but has a concert the night before in Cardiff. He says: “I’ll have a few drinks. I try not to drink as much as I used to. But once in a while is fine. I still can’t believe it will be my 80th birthday.”
- The Voice, ITV, Saturday, 8.30pm, is the opening knockout round.
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