RICK Astley has teamed up with Blossoms for a one-off project that has left some fans jumping for joy and others scratching their head.

The Newton legend will be joining Stockport's chart-topping five-piece to perform The Songs of The Smiths.

Rick, a huge fan of The Smiths, made an appearance with the band on stage in London on Monday night.

The eyebrow-raising announcement of two special shows was then made, including one at the Albert Hall in Manchester on Friday, October 8.

At the shows, Blossoms will become Rick’s backing band for a full set of best loved Smiths tunes.

It makes good on a suggestion the singer made in a 2016 Rolling Stone interview that he’d one day like to perform an entire set of Smiths songs.

Rick, who used to be a Mr Smith's regular and is said to have first sang Never Gonna Give You Up at the Carlton Club in Sankey Street, said: “From the moment The Smiths emerged in 1983 I was hooked and it’s as a fan, with deep respect as a musician for Morrissey, Marr, Rourke and Joyce, that I’ll be joining the endlessly enthusiastic and talented Blossoms on stage to sing their songs.

"It’s no secret that it’s been an ambition of mine to turn an idea that first sounded crazy, making more sense as Blossoms and I talked about it and then rehearsed it, into a reality. These shows will be nights that I’ll never forget.”

Blossoms frontman Tom Ogden added: “The Smiths have always meant so much to Blossoms, with even their rainiest songs complete with wry humour and soul-reaching musicianship and melody.

"Their poppier moments are pure, joyful, danceable poetry. Imagine backing Rick Astley to play the songs of The Smiths? We’ve had wilder dreams, but not many.

"We’ll barely be able to believe it until it happens, but the dates are set, we’re studying every note, line and beat to say ‘thank you’ to The Smiths alongside Rick and do both of them proud.”

It is not the first time Rick has announced a surprising collaboration. In 2018, he announced plans to open a bar with Danish craft beer giant Mikkeller.

Tickets go on sale at 9.30am on Friday from seetickets.com