Catching Up with Tom Jones

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With a Grammy, two Brit Awards and 100 million records sold, the Welsh legend admits his voice is a gift. Fifty years on, it’s one that keeps on giving. Travel Insider chats with Tom Jones as he gears up for his latest Australian Tour.

What is your greatest strength?

My voice.

What is your greatest weakness?

I’m dyslexic so spelling, followed by writing as a close second.

What scares you?

Prison. Being locked up anywhere.

What’s your favourite karaoke song?

Great Balls of Fire. I’ve never sung in a karaoke bar but I’ve sung in plenty of piano bars or with bands that happen to be playing in a bar. It’s always a great time.

What virtue do you admire most in people?

Kindness.

If you could do any other job, what would it be?

I’d be a doctor or, if I could manage it, a surgeon.

What’s one thing about you that would surprise people?

Despite the amount of global travel I’ve done, I’ve never seen the Egyptian pyramids. I don’t often get to see much of the places I’m visiting when touring.

What’s your idea of absolute happiness?

Spending time with my family. I live thousands of miles away from my son and his family but because we work together, we manage to see one another quite often. My grandchildren are very busy people so it’s harder to spend time with them. We’re always together for Christmas, though, and that’s fantastic.

If you could have dinner with two famous people, who would you choose?

Admiral Nelson and Winston Churchill.

What travel experience is on your bucket list?

Egypt’s pyramids!

What’s your most treasured possession?

My voice. I have to look after it just like any precious object.

How do you switch off?

Deep sleep.

If you could turn back time, what in your life would you change?

I would like to meet and spend time with my grandfathers.

What is your greatest achievement?

Being knighted by the Queen.

Who is your personal hero?

Churchill. I was born in 1940 so I guess you can see why!

What’s the most Welsh thing about you – apart from your voice?

My sense of humour.

Where would we find you at a party?

At the bar. In the past, I would have been drinking a lovely draft beer or Champagne. But presently it’s less of that and more tea and other nice non-alcoholic beverages.

It’s mainly the socialising that I like so it doesn’t matter what drink is in my hand; I just enjoy people.

If you were an animal, what would it be?

An eagle.

What would you spend your last $20 on?

Chocolate.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a helluva singer. 

Tom Jones is touring Australia from March 13 and is a headline act at Byron Bay Bluesfest, in NSW, on March 28. For more information, visit livenation.com.au and bluesfest.com.au.

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