Russell Watson is a nice guy with a big voice.

Once billed as Salford’s answer to Pavarotti, critics seemed to be unsure if he was an operatic tenor or a showbiz crooner.

The answer is that he is a bit of both although any claims to be an early cross-over artist would be contested by Tauber And McCormack who established the genre a century ago.

After serious health crises, he has become a relaxed and polished performer - he delighted a packed audience by inviting them to take his photograph and accepting lighted candles.

He has also developed a simpler style, singing into one microphone without layers of electronic amplification and complicated tracks behind him.

He was supported in his Candlelit concert at St Georges by the excellent Brighton Festival Youth Choir, conductor Esther Jones, close harmony singing group Celeste and by wondrous organist and musical director, Edward Rugman.

The church concert was part of Russell Watson’s nationwide mission to sing carols and spiritual music in holy places: opportunity for Lloyd Webber’s Pie Jesu and Bach-Gounod Ave Maria as well as a selection of familiar Christmas songs.

Pavarotti? No – there’s only the one. But disciples are welcome.