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I’m A Celebrity 2020: Russell Watson becomes emotional on his birthday

Russell Watson became emotional during Wednesday’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! as he celebrated his 54th birthday in camp.

Being away from his loved ones felt ‘proper strange’, he said, and explained that having survived two brain tumours years ago reminds him he is ‘lucky to be here’.

The day kicked off with Victoria gathering the other campmates to sing to him. 

Unhappy birthday? Russell Watson became emotional during Wednesday’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! as he celebrated his 54th birthday in camp

Speaking in the Telegraph after this, he said: ‘There was this massive rendition of Happy Birthday for me, which was lovely. It was so nice.’

Victoria said to him later on: ‘This must be the most surreal birthday of your life.’ Russell admitted: ‘It is a little bit.’

He said: ‘My wife, Louise, she always makes a massive fuss of me on my birthday. She understands the significance of how glad I am to still be here.’

Hugging him, Giovanna pointed out that every birthday must come with a huge amount of gratitude after what he’s been through with his health.

Emotional: Being away from his loved ones felt 'proper strange', he said, and explained that having survived two brain tumours years ago reminds him he is 'lucky to be here'

Emotional: Being away from his loved ones felt ‘proper strange’, he said, and explained that having survived two brain tumours years ago reminds him he is ‘lucky to be here’

He said: ‘I’ve always been the giant that looks after everybody. It’s all just a bit weird.’

Giovanna said to him: ‘I think there’s strength in vulnerability.’

In September 2006, Russell discovered her had developed a tumour which was the size of two golf balls after his peripheral vision became blurry.

Following a trip to LA, he underwent a five-hour emergency operation to remove the eight-centimetre tumour at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.

Just over a year later in October 2007, the classical singer’s vision deteriorated as his tumour returned on his pituitary gland, which was bleeding into his brain.

Making an effort: The camp pledged to make sure Russell had a lovely birthday

Making an effort: The camp pledged to make sure Russell had a lovely birthday

Spoiling him: Later in the episode, the camp won spa treatments, and Ruthie selected Russell to have one, to cheer him up

Spoiling him: Later in the episode, the camp won spa treatments, and Ruthie selected Russell to have one, to cheer him up

Just days after his MRI scan, Russell underwent another emergency procedure in Cheadle’s Alexandra Hospital, and later recovered with an extensive rehabilitation programme.

The camp pledged to make sure Russell had a lovely birthday.

Later in the episode, the camp won spa treatments, and Ruthie selected Russell to have one, to cheer him up.

Joining Vernon, Hollie and Giovanna, they were given peppers, carrots, hummus, mango, strawberry, pineapple, and grapes.

‘A birthday treat I wasn’t expecting!’ Russell remarked.

His world: The opera star described how it was the children that gave him the motivation to fight for his life and beat the illness (pictured after his second surgery with children Hannah, then 8, and Rebecca, then 13, in October 2007)

His world: The opera star described how it was the children that gave him the motivation to fight for his life and beat the illness (pictured after his second surgery with children Hannah, then 8, and Rebecca, then 13, in October 2007)

They all applied face masks on each other and then got into the hot tub.

‘This is heaven. I feel a million dollars, I really do. I’m ready for a Saturday night out,’ Vernon exclaimed.

Friday night’s show saw Russell open up to his campmates about his two terrifying brain tumours for the first time on the show.

The tenor, who battled two benign pituitary tumours back-to-back between 2006 and 2007, told how he ‘saw the light’ while lying in an MIR scanner.

Speaking to his fellow celebrities in Gwrych Castle about his battle, the opera star described how it was the children that gave him the motivation to fight for his life and beat the illness.

Candid: Friday night's I'm A Celebrity saw Russell open up to his campmates about his two terrifying brain tumours

Candid: Friday night’s I’m A Celebrity saw Russell open up to his campmates about his two terrifying brain tumours

Revelation: The tenor, who battled two benign pituitary tumours back-to-back between 2006 and 2007, told how he 'saw the light' while lying in an MIR scanner

Revelation: The tenor, who battled two benign pituitary tumours back-to-back between 2006 and 2007, told how he ‘saw the light’ while lying in an MIR scanner

The conversation started off with Russell being asked where was the best place he’d ever performed, with him confirming that it was the Vatican.

He explained: ‘They said it was a private audience with the Pope but later on I found out there was about 500 million people watching.’ 

The conversation soon turned to the low point of Russell’s life, with Ruthie asking about his tumours. 

Discussing the two brain tumours he'd had, Russell explained: 'The second one was the "one", the first wasn’t life threatening, it was painful and I nearly lost my vision'

Discussing the two brain tumours he’d had, Russell explained: ‘The second one was the “one”, the first wasn’t life threatening, it was painful and I nearly lost my vision’

Russell explained: ‘The second one was the “one”, the first wasn’t life threatening, it was painful and I nearly lost my vision. 

‘The second one was holy s***, I went home, went to bed and didn’t wake up because of a haemorrhage. My assistant found me, called the paramedics and I knew I was in trouble because the paramedic kept saying “stay with us, stay with us”. 

‘We got to the hospital and they operated. One of the most emotional things after I came out of intensive care was this bloke came up to me and said “nice to see you’re doing well Mr Watson” and I realised it was “stay with us, stay with us”. 

Vernon asked if he’d he’d seen the light as is sometimes claimed by people, with Russell replying ‘big time’. 

Scary: 'The second one was holy s***, I went home, went to bed and didn’t wake up because of a haemorrhage,' he recounted

Scary: ‘The second one was holy s***, I went home, went to bed and didn’t wake up because of a haemorrhage,’ he recounted

Shocking: 'It was a light strip and I was thinking if I go to that door I’m out of here and the pain stops and I’m away and all I could think about was my children,' he said

Shocking: ‘It was a light strip and I was thinking if I go to that door I’m out of here and the pain stops and I’m away and all I could think about was my children,’ he said

He went on to explain the moment he had noticed a ‘strip of light’ while in hospital and thinking he was about to die, before the thought of his children brought him back.

Russell said: ‘I was in the MIR scanner and I could see this long strip of light, like when you’re a kid and you used to keep your bedroom door open. 

‘It was a light strip and I was thinking if I go to that door I’m out of here and the pain stops and I’m away and all I could think about was my children and slowly slowly whilst thinking about my children the clatter clatter of the MRI came back and I thought I’m going to beat this.’

Vernon the got up to hug his pal after he opened up on his scary health ordeal. 

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! airs nightly at 9PM on ITV.    


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