ALED Jones and Russell Watson may be going out on tour together for the first time, but speaking to them you can tell that their double act is already well and truly formed.

The pair have known each other for more than 20 years as their careers have overlapped, seeing them become two of the most popular classical singers.

It’s perhaps a surprise then, that the pair haven’t gone on the road together before. Their In Harmony tour - which comes to Blackpool Opera House in September - follows the release of the album of the same name which was a top 10 hit.

“Back in the day there weren’t too many people doing what Russ and I were doing,” said Aled. “We’d bump into each other, I think the first time was backstage at the Royal Albert Hall, and got to know each other.

“We’re both down to earth, level-headed guys and got on well.”

As their friendship developed, the obvious step was for them to record an album together.

“The album started after a late night text after we’d both had a few glasses of wine,” revealed Aled. “We both said ‘we’d best do something’ and the next thing we knew we were in the studio.”

As renowned solo artists, both Aled and Russell are looking forward to having someone on stage to share the tour with.

“As solo artist on stage everyone is relying on you,” said Russell. “It’s a bit like you against the world but when you have got someone on stage with you it does alleviate the pressure.

“I know when we have done showcases before there’s good synergy between us and good banter. It makes for a more relaxing environment.”

Aled added: “As performers, we both like to react to what’s going on around us for the tour. You can be sure we will not just be going through the motions. It will be a lot of fun.

“It’s going to be a unique experience for both of us as we are used to touring on our own. I love the idea that we will get to bounce off each other – it’s fantastic. When we get together we always spark off each other and have a good time. Hopefully the audience will come away having shared in that.”

Even on a conference call, you can tell that the audience are in for a good time as the pair constantly rib each other and head off on tangents.

“The only bad thing about Russ is that he’s a Man United fan,” Aled drops into the conversation at one point.

Disagreements about football apart, both are particularly looking forward to their date in Blackpool - the only North West venue on the tour.

“Lancashire means lot to me,” said Aled. “It’s where I met my wife and where I probably spent one of the happiest summers I’ve ever had when I was performing in Joseph back in the day in Blackpool.”

Russell added: “I spent a good few years when I was performing on the club scene treading the boards in Blackpool. I did all of the big venues there and some of the not so big ones, so I have got a real affinity with the town.”

Born in Irlam, Russell also spent many a family holiday at the resort when he was a child,

“It’s always good to go back there,” he said. “I’ll never forget the first time I was taken to see the Illuminations.”

The young Russell could hardly have imagined that years later he would be invited to perform the official switch-on in the town in 2010.

“That’s nothing,” laughed Aled. “I did a Songs of Praise from Blackpool and I did a piece saying ‘I’ve never been asked to turn the lights on but I can turn them off’ and I pushed the button and the whole prom was plunged into darkness.

“I couldn’t believe it when they didn’t even use it in the broadcast. I didn’t speak to the producer for a week afterwards.”

This sets Russell off on a idea for the pair to be involved.

“It could be like the Olympics where they have a closing ceremony,” he laughed. “We’d be good at that; after all Aled’s already got previous for it!”

With their In Harmony tour, the pair will be performing songs from the album plus numbers for which they have become known over the years.

“It’s going to be really special to perform in Blackpool,” said Russell. “The Opera House is a gargantuan theatre and when it’s packed to the rafter and you walk out on to that stage, it’s just a wonderful feeling.”

“I remember when I came to the end of the run in Joseph, I’d been in Blackpool for about 12 weeks,” said Aled.

“As I left via the stage door there must have been 500 fans waiting for me and they all started to sing the Welsh national anthem. I was in tears, it was so emotional.”

“Those are the moments which you cherish as a performer,” said Russell. “Those things which stay with you throughout your career and which you look back on and smile.”

“I think this tour will create plenty more of those moments for us and hopefully for the audience too,” said Aled.

Aled Jones and Russell Watson In Harmony, Blackpool Opera House, Wednesday, September 18. Details from 0844 856 1111 or