PAVAROTTI once told Neil Sedaka that after the age of 70 the voice disappears.

But his legion of fans who will pack the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, on October 27, won’t be disappointed because at 75 he’s still hitting the high notes.

Speaking from New York he said: “I’m very lucky that I still have my voice, but I work on keeping it in shape.

“I don’t go to noisy places where I have to raise my voice.

“It actually gets better the more I use it. The first concert on a tour is rather like climbing a mountain, the further you climb the better it gets. It’s like being an athlete, if you sit for too long you can’t run.”

On the subject of exercise, Neil credits some of his longevity to his healthy lifestyle. He walks for 30 minutes a day around New York City and eats plenty of salads, fish and egg-white omelettes.

His only concession to indulgence is the one shot of vodka which “gets him through” each gig – Smirnoff or Stolichnya, although he admits Chinese or Italian food are his ‘guilty pleasure’.

Neil will play seven UK dates, starting at the Royal Albert Hall, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, on October 23 and including a date at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall.

“It’s always a joy to come back to the UK, where it all turned around for me in the 70s,” he said. “My most loyal fanbase is here and they have always been the most supportive of my work. I can’t wait to sing the classics, as well as some new ones.

“It will be an acoustic show – just me and the piano, up close and personal and explaining how and why I write songs.

“I make the decision to write and give myself a few hours with the tape recorder. I have to tape it otherwise I forget it.

“After 61 years, it’s about always reinventing yourself. I always try to raise the bar. Being a studied musician that’s easier than for others.”

Neil does 25 concerts a year.

“I just can’t give it up,” he said. “It’s the thrill of performing for a live audience and the natural adrenalin rush when you get an ovation.”

Acknowledged as a musical genius (he clocked up more than 25million record sales before he was 23), Neil’s undiminished soundscape has remained relevant across decades and genres and his honours include a Grammy (and five nominations), a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, inductions into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, National Academy of Popular Music Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award, BMI Awards and a Brooklyn street name.

In 2006, he received the UK’s Guinness Award for Best Selling Single of the 21st Century for (Is This The Way To) Amarillo, originally written for Tony Christie 40 years ago.

His many hit singles include Oh Carol, Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen and Next Door To An Angel. He songs have been hits for some of the greats of the music industry including Andy Williams, Elvis Presley, Connie Francis and the Carpenters.

Neil Sedaka, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Monday, October 27. Details from 0844 907 9000