SINGER and former 'I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here' contestant Russell Watson took to Bents Garden Centre this morning, Wednesday, for their Christmas opening.

Russell and chief executive of the business, Matthew Bent were delighted to pronounce the festive season under way at the Glazebury garden centre.

And for Russell, who spent time growing up nearby in Irlam, it was particularly special to host the event at a place that is so close to his heart.

Warrington Guardian: Russell with the centrepiece 'lady in the swing'Russell with the centrepiece 'lady in the swing'

He said: “It’s lovely to be back.

"My wife and I come here every year anyway so regardless of this event we would have been here at some point. We love it here.

“More poignantly than that, this was one of my grandma’s favourite places to visit. It’s funny because at Christmas I’d say ‘where do you want to go gran?’ and she would say ‘Bents! Can we go to Bents?’

“She absolutely loved it here,” Russell, 54, added.

Warrington Guardian: Russell meeting customersRussell meeting customers

“Her ashes are scattered out in the garden at the back which is lovely so it feels like there is a special place in my heart for Bents.”

Before speaking and taking photos with fans and customers, Russell spoke outside and joined forces with Matthew to cut the ribbon and welcome visitors.

Russell added: “Cutting the ribbon this morning was just lovely. Not least of all because it is nice to be back out here again after such a long layoff for the music and entertainment industry."

Matthew said: “It’s brilliant to have so many people back and welcome them back in a great way.

“It feels so special and we are so excited, the team is so excited as they have been looking forward to this for a long time so it’s fantastic.”

The Christmas decorations will be up from October 13 – New Year’s Eve.