RICK Astley captured the hearts of the nation when he performed at Glastonbury on Saturday.

Newton-le-Willows' favourite son opened the Pyramid Stage on Saturday, June 15, to critical acclaim.

As if singing at the most famous festival in the country isn't enough, Astley played the guitar and even hopped on the drums for an AC/DC cover as well.

So how must it feel for a Newton local to rise to such heights, and perform on one of world's biggest stages?

Well, who better to ask than Rick Astley himself?

He gave an interview with the Warrington Guardian following his performance.

Warrington Guardian: The 'Never Gonna Give You Up' singer's set went down a stormThe 'Never Gonna Give You Up' singer's set went down a storm (Image: PA)

  • Everyone in the area still sees you as a 'local lad' - how does it feel to still get that level of support?

"Well part of me is the person I’ve been since I was a kid, and another part of me gets on stage at Glastonbury.

"I'm the same person but I think there’s room to be both of them.

"But bigger artists than me are able to do it - Paul McCartney is probably the most unusual person in the world in terms of music, but he still goes around saying hello to people, and being a decent human being.

"I love it when we play a gig in Manchester or Liverpool, and of course, we’ve played in Warrington as well. I can’t explain it.

"I’ve lived in the south for 30-odd years, and my wife is Danish but even though she loves going to Manchester, this is where we live and where we brought up our daughter – this feels like home. I do still feel like a northerner inside.

"I’ve got to know Blossoms [the Stockport indie rock band] quite well and when I see them and hang out I feel like a 20-year-old going out again to pubs in Newton and Warrington and then going into Manchester."

Warrington Guardian: Astley performed with Blossoms during a one-hour set at Glastonbury a few hours after his solo setAstley performed with Blossoms during a one-hour set at Glastonbury a few hours after his solo set (Image: PA)

  • What are your best memories of home, and what would you get up to whenever you came back?

​"My mum and dad both passed away a few years now, but in truth, I’m a lot closer to my sister and one of my brothers lives in Ackley Bridge, and my other brother John lives in Kent – but I’m probably closer to them than I ever was to my parents.

"Coming home would’ve meant seeing [my siblings], and I’ve still got some friends in the area but a lot of them moved away.

"I was only in a couple of bands at home but we played the school discos and then pubs and working men’s clubs, as they were then – the Leigh Arms in Newton-le-Willows, which isn’t a pub anymore, it’s apartments now I believe.

"We had friends in there who knew our songs and the covers we did, and we had a little fan base. It felt great to feel like something in the town you come from.

"Everyone wants to go around the globe but you’ve got to start somewhere and keep your feet rooted and grounded."

  • And what about experiencing the Warrington nightlife back in the day?

​"One of the first gigs I went to was in Birchwood. And there were a couple of pubs in Warrington; I used to go to Mr Smiths, and people came from everywhere to go to that place it was huge.

"The light system was amazing there, but when you got to a certain age Manchester had such a draw.

"The Smiths and New Order carved out a spot for themselves on the world scene. It was 18 miles away, you could borrow your brother’s Honda Civic and be in Manchester for the night.

"It had an exotic draw.

"People might laugh at that now, but my God it had a draw for us."

Warrington Guardian: Astley even performed in Mr Smiths when the club was in its heydayAstley even performed in Mr Smiths when the club was in its heyday (Image: Newsquest)

  • What are the differences as a performer between playing Glastonbury and a smaller venue, like Warrington's Parr Hall?

​"Most artists want to be on as big a stage as possible, but then you realise how good the smaller ones are. My ego wants to do Glastonbury every weekend, but that isn’t on the cards for me.

"I relish both. You learn stuff from doing both, and you can’t use the same tactics on both.

"Parr Hall is a great old venue, it’s got such good history – the Stones have played there, it’s a really solid place to do a gig, and I’m pretty sure everyone’s been there for sure; but the tactics you use a different to make sure the audience goes home with a grin on their face.

"Most artists’ hearts like playing a smaller audience because it’s more intimate and it’s harder.

"If you’ve got 80,000 people then that’s a lot of emotion on your side, and they’re up for seeing anything – but in the Parr Hall those people have paid to see you, so you better do what you’re supposed to do for them.

"They’ve bought their ticket, it’s not by chance that they’re seeing you.

"In smaller venues, people have made the effort, and in a bizarre way it’s a different kind of effort and you’ve got to be more intimate and a tiny bit more honest with them."

  • You're known for throwing a few covers into your performances - like 'As It Was' by Harry Styles - how do you choose those songs?

​"Usually it’s because I keep hearing them somewhere and over a few listens I just think ‘that is monster’ and it would be an epic song for us to do live if we can carry it off.

"I had some hits back in the day and we’ve had some success with newer records, but we’re there to entertain people.

"I think any artist has the right to do whatever they want on stage, but I sometimes think it’s nice to have a really big cover in your back pocket. It’s part of your job.

"Part of the job is to entertain people, and I pick songs that we all know and have a certain something to get the audience involved."