Singer Engelbert Humperdinck on poetry, pink excess and the one thing he won’t eat at Christmas.
Guilty pleasure? A pint of bitter and a bag of crisps when I return to the UK.
Where is home? Mostly Bel Air, Los Angeles. But I still have a property with its own pub and magnificent gardens in a village outside Leicester.
Career plan B? Music was my destiny and I’m grateful that I didn’t have to reinvent myself.
Biggest bugbear? Rude drivers.
Secret to a happy relationship? Tenderness goes a long way.
Most romantic thing you’ve ever done? Take my wife Patricia to Paris for our honeymoon in 1964 when we had very little money.
Your perfect Christmas dinner? Roast pork, chicken, all the trimmings – but never turkey. I had a pet turkey called Fidget as a boy and have never eaten it.
Dream dinner-party guest? Winston Churchill – I would love to find out the stories behind his great quotes.
Advice to teenage self? Education is so important to be able to navigate your way through life. I left school at 15 and I wish I’d known then what I know now.
Cat or dog? We’ve had 22 dogs over the years and currently have a black and white cross called Shirley.
Starstruck moment? Meeting Cary Grant.
Big break? Taking the place of Dickie Valentine on the Sunday Night at the London Palladium TV show in 1967 when he fell ill. It led to me recording ‘Release Me’.
Career highlight? Meeting Princess Grace of Monaco when I went there
to do a charity gala for the Red Cross.
Secret skill? I love writing poetry.
One thing that would make your life better? Peace of mind – I’m a worrier.
Philosophy? Simplicity is the essence of success.
Last film that made you cry? The Notebook. My wife has Alzheimer’s, so the film is very close to home.
First record you bought? ‘When I Fall in Love’ by Nat King Cole, which I bought for Patricia, my then girlfriend.
Best Christmas present you ever received? An old red telephone box from my wife.
Most extravagant purchase? The Pink Palace, Jayne Mansfield’s former mansion, which I owned for 27 years.
Biggest fear? Sharks.
Happiness is… A good pair of sideburns that serve you well throughout your life.
Engelbert’s new album, Warmest Christmas Wishes, is out now on OK! Good Records, okgoodrecords.com
Interview by John Koski