FRESH from his success in the year’s top live show — the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert — Lancashire’s own Alfie Boe has announced his biggest ever UK tour for next year.

Alfie, 37, who has been dubbed ‘The Nation’s Tenor’, is at Manchester Arena on March 23 as part of a 10-venue event which includes London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Brought up in Fleetwood, Alfie and his eight brothers and sisters listened to operatic arias from an early age because their dad insisted on playing them whenever the family sat down to Sunday lunch.

At the age of 14 he joined a local amateur operatic company and two years later appeared in amateur productions of Carmen and Il Trovatore in Preston.

While he was working as an apprentice mechanic at Blackpool’s TVR factory a customer heard him singing and suggested the 17-year-old should try auditioning for the next tour by the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company.

Over the 20 years since then Alfie has become firmly established on the operatic and musical stage throughout Europe and United States where achievements included a nine-month Broadway run.

In this week’s royal tribute a live audience of 20,000 and 17 million TV viewers saw him perform O Sole Mio/It’s Now or Never and duet with soprano Renee Fleming in Somewhere on the palace balcony.

Tickets for the Arena show are available from 0844 847 8000.