Opera singer Russell Watson is ‘on good form’ and conscious after undergoing emergency surgery to remove a brain tumour, according to hospital officials.

The popular tenor will leave intensive care later on Friday, Michael Stroud, executive director at the Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle, Greater Manchester, added.

Mr Stroud also said that Russell had been talking and that a further update could be expected later on Friday.

The singer was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday evening after falling ill in a recording studio.

His symptoms included a ‘dramatic deterioration of vision’.

After an MRI scan revealed a re-growth of a previous benign tumour, which was removed in September 2006, Russell endured a three-hour operation to remove it.

Russell’s agent Giles Baxendale said on Thursday evening that the Salford-born singer faced a crucial 48 hours.

“It’s been a tough day. He looks pretty grim. He’s alive, that’s the main thing,” said Mr Baxendale.

And he thanked Russell’s fans for their ‘overwhelming support’ for the singer.

All of the singer’s engagements have been postponed until further notice.

Russell, who was a factory worker before he turned to singing, has sold more than four million albums worldwide.

He’s also been a regular on TV, winning the talent show Just The Two Of Us with actress Sian Reeves in 2006.

His latest album, Outside In, is due for release on November 26.