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Ozzy Osbourne, the survivor

The rock star who was once the embodiment of rock and roll excess has just flown in from Helsinki - he's in the midst of a world tour - looking fit and lean.

"I work out nearly every day," he tells me.

"I haven't had a drink for five years."

In fact he admits, these days he's rather partial to a hot bath and cocoa - "I used to have a lot more than cocoa," he adds.

This is Ozzy Osbourne the survivor, who has decided he wants his already long career to continue, who says he has stopped his excesses out of respect for the fans who have stuck by him for so long.

This year he turns 70.

The singer is in the UK - at the house he and wife Sharon bought 25 years ago but in which he says he's had little chance to live - to headline the prestigious Download rock festival this weekend, 50 years after he first began his career with Black Sabbath before embarking on a hugely successful solo career.

Then on Monday, Osbourne will be given the lifetime achievement gong at the Metal Hammer's Golden God awards, at the O2, to salute his music career.

He is honoured but also saddened to remember a previous recipient of the award, his close friend Lemmy from the band Motorhead, who died in 2015. "I miss him," he tells me, musing that since his death and that of other music stars like David Bowie, he gets regular health checks.

"As long as my wife doesn't go," he says. "She organises me so well."

It is to spend more time with his wife Sharon, and children and grandchildren, that the 69-year-old rocker has announced this will be his last tour - though he'll still play one-off concerts.

The singer at the house he and wife Sharon bought 25 years ago. Credit: ITV News

And after decades of drink and drugs, of controversies including biting the head off a bat during a concert, he says he has had to clean up his act because he still loves performing live. It angers him when newer performers become famous and then back away, having achieved fame - he says his fans have stuck with him so he will with them.

He is clearly in awe of the fans that still come to see him - one had my face tattooed all over his back he exclaims - who have helped him to album sales of more than 100 million, and who now bring their own children to see him.

He is more surprised than anyone that he has made it to 70.

Memories of the past decades?

"I've got more chance remembering what I did yesterday," he says.

Still he anticipates his wife will throw him a party. "They'll all be drunk," he says. "I'll be on the lemonade."

I suggest to him he should get involved when his home city Birmingham hosts the Commonwealth Games in 2022 - perhaps play the opening ceremony. He'd love to do that he says.

But first Ozzy has a world tour to finish. And then he'd just like to go out on a date with his wife.