With the Queen's Jubilee imminent and the Olympics fast-approaching, 2012 is undoubtedly a year for Brits to feel patriotic.
Such is the basis for Russell Watson's new album Anthems - Music To Inspire A Nation, which sees the UK's favourite tenor covering some of our best-known songs, including 'The White Cliffs of Dover', 'We Are The Champions' and Heather Small's 'Proud'.
We caught up with the singer to find out more about the record and whether he'll be hosting his own street party this year.
Anthems is your ninth studio album. Does it get easier with each album?
"We made the album in four weeks which was a new record for me! We normally take about six months. It means the record has a real freshness about it because we haven't tinkered with it too much. The emotion that you hear on it is raw and it feels extra special."
It's a celebration of all things British. Was it your idea or did someone approach you to do the LP?
"I came up with the idea because this year is such a year of patriotism with the Jubilee and the Olympics going on. I've been singing these kinds of songs for years at festivals so it's nice to be able to officially record them and put them out there properly."
Are you worried people will think it's just another covers album?
"I want people to get past the idea that it's just another cheap covers album - the amount of passion in there will surprise people. There's always a sense of apprehension around the release of an album. I've never released a record outside the gift-buying market, but hopefully people will get on board with it. Despite this being my ninth album, I'm by no means confident about it!"
There are a lot of great British anthems. Was it difficult putting together the tracklisting?
"The process from start to finish had to be quick because our time frame to put it together was about three months. We worked right up to the end of the clock! The producer was sleeping in the studio by the end because we were doing 17-hour days."
Are you planning any street parties for the Jubilee celebrations?
"I don't think I'm going to get time to do any partying, sadly! I'm off to America shortly for the Memorial Day Concert, which has an audience of half a million and is televised across the country. After that I'm in the UK for more shows, so I think I'll be too busy for that I'm afraid."
You've performed at some of the most prestigious venues around the world; is there anything else left you want to achieve?
"The Olympics please! What I can't understand is why they haven't thought of having a bloke that's survived two f**king brain tumours, who's the best-known tenor in the UK and has been around for ages and can sing like I can sing to perform at the Olympics. It's the same with the Jubilee - there's a lot of ambiguity around it. We'll wait and see."
You've got two shows at the Royal Albert Hall coming up though, haven't you?
"I do - that's going to be fun. I'm looking forward to that."
Are you a fan of The Voice UK?
"I don't get much time these days to watch TV. If I get any free time I like to spend it with my family. I know they've been watching it though. I think there are too many talent shows on TV. I know I've done it before, and I don't want people to think I'm contentious, but I wish that there was more television shows that were geared up to artists who already have careers. There are so many f**king shows about people who want to be famous, but there is so much talent in this country with no vehicle to show what they're doing. It's all about what's going to be than what has been. I think it's very sad."
What did you make of opera singer Jonathan on this year's Britain's Got Talent?
"It's a voice that needs work, but he's got a good voice overall. He's only got one gear at the moment, but he needs two, three, four gears at least. It's a big, loud voice but it's constant. He needs to find a way to find some light and shade. If I spend half an hour with him..."
Would you be up for giving him some tips?
"Why not?! The sad thing is there are better voices at talent schools up and down the country right now. He's only 17 and he absolutely has the potential to be amazing in ten years. This guy is solid as a rock, he makes a big noise. He's not the next Pavarotti though, as someone in the papers said."
Russell Watson releases his new album Anthems - Music To Inspire A Nation on May 28.
Watch the singer perform 'We Are The Champions' below: