Star tenor Alfie Boe says he’ll always fly the flag for the Fylde coast.
And as hundreds of fans flocked to Blackpool’s HMV store for the chance to meet him, he insisted that, despite his huge success, he’s still just “the kid from Fleetwood”.
Alfie, 41, who is originally from the port, is about to embark on a massive arena tour across the UK.
And he spent the afternoon at the Bank Hey Street store yesterday meeting and greeting a throng of fans as he released his new album Serenata.
And he told The Gazette he couldn’t wait to come back to a warm welcome from the Fylde coast.
He said: “It’s the best, its great. I came back today and it’s great to have a warm welcome from all the fans, my family and friends I’ve not seen in years, just to be able to let them know that I’m still the kid from Fleetwood.
“I fly the flag for this area of the country and I fly the flag for Blackpool quite a lot – it’s always a delight to come back home and meet them all.”
The HMV event saw a large crowd turn out to greet the singer with hundreds of CDs and DVDs sold.
Alfie, who took a photograph with every one of his fans who turned out, said the response was “an honour”.
“It’s great. It makes me feel like I’m doing something good, I feel like I’m making music for my fans and that’s what it’s about,” he added.
“It’s not about getting a number one and selling millions, it’s about getting music to the people that want to listen to it.”
Among the crowd of fans, was Shirley Morgan of Trinity Hospice on Low Moor Road, Bispham who spoke about Alfie’s support of the charity. “
Alfie’s been a patron for a couple of years now and his fans are just incredible, if his fans know that he’s got a hoodie of ours then they all want one.”
Talking about the charity, Alfie said: “I’m an ambassador and I’ve been supporting them for the last three or four years. Anything I can do for those kinds of local charities, I’ll try to make happen, they do amazing work.
“I’d supported Trinity Hospice for some time and when they asked me to be an ambassador I said I’d be delighted, I’d do anything for them really.”
The singer may have been thrilled with his reception at the store, but fans who queued for up to an hour to meet him were equally delighted.
Carolynn Sills, 63, a carer in rest home and school cleaner in Blackpool, said after meeting her idol: “I’ve always loved Alfie. He’s such a lovely and down-to-earth man.”
Frazer Mundy, 17, who had been queueing for more than an hour to see the singer and had his shirt signed, said: “I went to see him twice at the shows at the Opera House last year and I’ve got tickets to his show at the Manchester Phones 4U Arena.”