SINGER-SONGWRITER Chris Rea has cancelled his concert in Bournemouth tomorrow night following his collapse on stage at the weekend.

Rea, who had a stroke last year, was mid-song at a theatre in Oxford, when he suddenly clutched his microphone and fell to the stage. He had been 45 minutes into the 35th concert in his 37-leg Road Songs For Lovers tour.

On behalf of the Bournemouth International Centre, Nadine Povey said: “We’re very sad to announce that Chris Rea will be unable to perform at the BIC as planned due to illness. All ticket holders should obtain refunds at point of purchase.”

Although Rea is reportedly in a stable condition, it is unclear whether he will reschedule his performance.

The 66-year-old singer who wrote Driving Home for Christmas, has been dogged with health issues including peritonitis, pancreatic cancer and diabetes. He has to inject insulin several times a day and has had nine major operations in the space of ten years. Then last autumn he suffered a stroke.

Yet in an interview for The Guide published in the Echo last Friday, he said he had no plans to give up.

“You get good days and bad days. Sometimes you actually think, I’ve had enough. You feel like knocking it on the head, you really do. Since I had a stroke, my balance hasn’t been too good either. Most people say they don’t notice, but I do.”

But even if he wanted to give it all up, it seems he can’t. “Writing music just comes automatically. It’s not a talent it’s a condition,” he said.

Rea also said he doesn’t get bored of playing his old hits like Road to Hell which he wrote in 1989.

“I always feel there’s room for improvement. I’m not saying that I’m a perfectionist, but I always strive for perfection - I can’t seem to switch it off.”

Chris Rea who has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, found fame late in life.

He once worked as an ice cream van man in Middlesbrough.

He said: “I didn’t start playing the guitar until I was 22. I’d heard the blues - an old Charley Patton record - and I liked the idea of it so I went to a second hand shop and brought a guitar and that was me sorted. No one was very pleased about it at the time though. It was proof to them that I was a waster, but I didn’t take any notice of them.”