HIS love of good beer saw him buying his own boozer, the Fox and Pheasant, back in 2017 to save his old local in London’s trendy Chelsea from being demolished.
But now James Blunt has taken his passion one-step further with a brand new Amazon television show – all about home brewing.
And speaking for the first time about swapping pop music for TV presenting, James said he thinks he’s found his second calling in life.
He laughed: “I think Dermot O'Leary has something to worry about and this is keeping him up at night.
"More likely is they will see it and end up giving Dermot my job on it and he’ll end up hosting it. That is what will happen.
“But this is my dream job. It’s a beer brewing competition and I am the host of the show.
“Luckily I am not judging it as I have terrible taste in music and beer. There are qualified judges and celebrity judges who know their stuff.
“In the final there are five different brewing teams who all make phenomenally good home brews. It’s going to be great.”
Aside from his glittering new career on the silver screen, James is back with new music.
Love Under Pressure, which came out on Friday, is one of four new tracks which appear on his new greatest hits album The Stars Beneath My Feet (2004-2021) – out November 19.
James said: “To have been touring for 17 years, then being sent home because of the pandemic and now recording new singles – it has been an amazing journey.
“I wrote Love Under Pressure with Jack Savoretti over Zoom. I was describing the pressure of lockdown but I wasn’t talking about love. I was talking about my Spanish visa after Brexit.
"He thought that was maybe a tiny bit niche and love is something everyone can relate to.”
James spent lockdown at his home in Ibiza with his wife, Sofia Wellersley, their two children and his mother-in-law.
And the singer, who has sold over 23million records, admitted they felt very lucky.
Aside from his glittering new career on the silver screen, James is back with new music
James said: “I went home and discovered I had children.
“And for six months I was in the forest behind our house with a chainsaw chopping down wood and feeling very manly. You have to maintain them because of the danger of forest fires.
“Hurting yourself runs in my family, my dad cut his two fingers off in a lawn mower. So that was in the back of my mind when I was stumbling around the forest.”
James is now in the UK finishing off a series of smaller gigs and festivals cancelled because of the pandemic.
He will then head out on tour in February, playing nine huge gigs across the UK.
And it’s clear as much as he loves his life in Ibiza he loves coming home, admitting he sticks to a routine the moment he arrives in Blighty.
James explained: “I order a Domino’s pizza with pepperoni, sweetcorn and onions and two cans of coca cola so it looks like I’ve got a friend.
“The next day I’ll go straight to Five Guys and after I have done that, I hit the Fox and Pheasant and I go and get a pint.”
“I am making new music and I am writing at the moment. I am loving my job.
When he was last in London in July, James played to a sold out crowd at the Royal Albert Hall – just weeks after testing positive for coronavirus.
Luckily, James said he has now fully recovered.
He said: “That concert was such a big deal because I didn’t know whether I would make it through the first verse because my lungs were so damaged. I felt like I was asthmatic and coughing every time I tried to speak.
"My doctors were phenomenal, they had filled me with every single drug that is humanly and legally possible and it worked.
“I think I am all fixed now. I think if anything it sounds like my balls have dropped. It’s a good thing.”
Following his tour, James said he’ll start work again on his seventh studio album.
But unlike Dua Lipa and Sir Elton John, James’ next record isn’t likely to feature star-studded collaborations.
James said: “I am making new music and I am writing at the moment. I am loving my job.
“In the past I’ve written with people like Ed Sheeran. I think people will work with me they just don’t want to put their names on it.
“I need to find someone who would put their name on it. Maybe Bryn [actor Rob Brydon] from Gavin and Stacey.
“Me and Bryn is the collaboration you need to look out for.”
Watch this space, everyone.
PARTY'S STELLA CAST
FASHION designer Stella McCartney threw a mega-bash to celebrate her 50th birthday in style.
Pals including Kate Moss and David Walliams were pictured arriving at the Cliveden House Hotel in Berkshire for the Seventies-themed party on Saturday.
Other stars included Stella’s dad, Sir Paul, Sir Elton John and Sadie Frost.
The knees-up went on until 8am yesterday as guests drank bottles of Dom Perignon bubbly and ate canapes.
There were ice sculptures and in keeping with the theme, a disco area with glitterballs.
A hotel worker said before the event: “Sir Paul is rock ’n’ roll royalty. We’re going to give him and Stella the best night ever for her birthday. No expense has been spared.”
“It’s all been hush-hush and it’s the biggest party of the last 20 years here at Cliveden.”
I imagine some of the hangovers the following day were just as beefy.
BRAD'S GRACEY SPLIT
FANS of The Vamps frontman Brad Simpson will be pleased to hear that he is now back on the market.
Those close to the All Night singer revealed he has split from rising star Gracey, who he started dating last summer.
A source said: “Brad and Gracey’s love blossomed during lockdown and they got to spend a lot of time together.
“However, as life started to go back to normal, their relationship became strained. Brad and Gracey are both successful in their own right and are working on what is right for them as individuals.
“There was no big drama, their romance just ran its course. Those around them hope they can work it out because they made such a lovely couple.”
Gracey hinted she had split with Brad, who previously dated Fifth Harmony's Lauren Jauregui, at the end of last month while promoting her new single What A Waste.
The singer, who has written tunes for stars including Rita Ora and Olly Murs, explained: “I wrote What A Waste in the first raw moments of a recent break-up, when all I felt was the initial loss.
"Everyone goes through that gut punch of disappointment and frustration at the beginning, when you’re looking back at the time, love and energy you put into something that no longer exists and you feel like you wasted your time.
“Luckily it’s just a moment that passes and there’s lots to look forward to on the other side.
“But those initial emotions are still valid.”
DRAKE A FEASTIVAL HIT
DRAKE stunned fans when he appeared at Wireless Festival for a surprise set with Future.
It was the Canadian rapper’s first gig for 18 months and his set included singing his Future collab Way 2 Sexy live for the first time.
He then ordered a GIANT feast to celebrate.
A source said: “They were backstage feeding the artists and VIPs, and Drake had a ball.
"He ordered 500 chicken wings, 250 thighs, 30 portions of chips and 150 portions of garlic bread.”
Among those joining the feast were Maya Jama and Love Islander Jack Fowler.
Drake, whose album Certified Lover Boy is at No1, told fans at London’s Crystal Palace: “I’d not have wanted my first show back to be anywhere other than Wireless.”
CHRISTINA WINS AT MUSICAL STATUES
CHRISTINA AGUILERA went all out for a patriotic look when she dressed as a sexy Statue of Liberty during a set at LadyLand Festival in New York.
She wowed the crowds at the Pride event, held on the same day the city remembered victims of the 9/11 tragedy, and belted out all of her classic songs on stage, including Genie In A Bottle and Beautiful.
The outdoor music festival in Brooklyn was billed as an intimate concert celebrating gay talent and icons.
Christina is preparing to release new music, three years after the release of her album Liberation.
Earlier this year she confirmed she would bring out two “different passion projects”.
'QUEEN' OF POP
MADONNA made like Freddie Mercury and picked up a hoover for a spot of light cleaning.
The Queen of Pop’s photograph reminded me of Queen's video for their 1984 hit I Want To Break Free, where Freddie dressed as a woman and pushed his vacuum around.
Madonna shared the pic on Instagram and captioned it: “Mood . . . cleaning the house.”
I’m sure Madge has an army of hired help on hand to keep her houses spick and span.
But she sure looks glamorous doing it herself.
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