Sir Tom Jones becomes oldest man to top the UK album chart

300421 sir tom jones number one album, official charts company
Credit: Official Charts Company

Sir Tom Jones has become the oldest man to top the UK album chart.

The 80-year-old singer's new release 'Surrounded By Time', his 41st studio album, takes the title from Bob Dylan, who topped the chart at 79 last year with Rough And Rowdy Ways.

Sir Tom has also become the oldest artist to top the Official Charts Company rankings with an album of new material.

The late singer Dame Vera Lynn holds the overall record for being the oldest album chart-topper with her greatest hits collection We'll Meet Again - The Very Best Of Vera Lynn, which was number one in 2009 when she was 92.

Sir Tom Jones says being back on stage is "where I live and breathe." Credit: PA

'Surrounded By Time' is Sir Tom's fourth number one album and his first since 1999's Reload.

He said: "I am thrilled beyond words with the reception for Surrounded By Time, and to now hold these UK chart records is tremendous, just unbelievable.

"I am so proud of everyone who helped me create the music, I had a ball working with them and to get this result is just incredible.

"It's wonderful that the public has allowed me to be musically expressive at my time of life and have shown their support. I am forever grateful."

On Twitter, he added: "It means so much that you are enjoying the tunes & have embraced the music in this way. It is humbling to see the support after all this time."

Sir Tom knocked last week's leaders London Grammar off the top spot and into second with Californian Soil.

The new record features a song called 'I'm Growing Old' - but Sir Tom, who turns 81 in June, told ITV News he doesn't feel old yet.

He said: "It says 'I'm growing old'. It doesn't say 'I am old' - there's a difference there!

"I've kept that song since my thirties - it was given to me then. But I thought, I want to be old enough to know what these words really mean. And now I think I am old enough!"

Sir Tom - born Thomas John Woodward in Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, south Wales - said it "always feels great" coming back home.

He told ITV News: "You go across the bridge and you see 'Welcome to Wales' and the dragon is there.

"You never leave Wales, you see. I carry Wales [in my heart] with me. That's what we do. 'Hiraeth' means longing - a longing for Wales. So I'm always thrilled to bits to go back."

Sir Tom said being back on stage in front of thousands of fans would be "something special".

"For me, all roads lead to the stage," he said.

"That's where I live and breathe it. It's the most natural thing that I do. And it's always been like that, ever since I was a kid.