Sir Cliff Richard finds it “weird” but also welcome that people associate him with Christmas.

The 83-year-old singer has had a number of festive hits over the years, including ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ and ‘Saviours Day’ but he insisted he doesn’t “own” the festive season, though he enjoys being linked with something so “warm”.

He told Women’s Weekly magazine: “It’s weird, because contrary to popular belief, I do not own Christmas, nor have all my hits been Christmas tracks.

“But if people want to think of me at Christmas? Well, I’ll take that thank you.

“Christmas is a family time, so if I help to bring warmth to others then I’m happy.”

Cliff’s most recent album, ‘Cliff with Strings – My Kinda Life’ featured some of his greatest hits performed with an orchestra and he was thrilled to look back on his songs in a new way.

He said: “It took me down memory lane. What better way to celebrate this 65th anniversary milestone in my career than revisiting some of my earliest hits?

“Tracks will obviously sound different in other genres but I was delighted with how the orchestral versions fit the tracks so well as if they were intended that way from the outset.

“It’s always good to look at the tracks in another way.

“But had I not been asked if this was something I would like to do, who knows what else they may have come up with.”

And the ‘Living Doll’ hitmaker found it particularly moving to revisit ‘Suddenly’, his duet with the late Dame Olivia Newton-John.

He said: “The songs ‘Carrie’ and ‘My Kind of Life’ stood out for me as fabulous arrangements when I was sent them. But then, I love all the tracks.

“Perhaps the most poignant one was the recording of ‘Suddenly’ with my dear friend Olivia, who we lost so recently.

“It was always a privilege to perform with her, and it’s fabulous to have that performance honoured.”