Walking in the Air singer Aled Jones says royalties from his festive song helped smooth over financial difficulties when he transitioned from child to adult star.
"There was a period in my life when I wasn't really doing anything," the Welsh singer and presenter explained to Kate Thornton on the White Wine Question Time podcast. "And the royalties from Walking In The Air helped me. The transition from boy soprano over to adult isn't overnight.
"And so that would keep me sort of in the public eye I suppose."
His version was intended for a Toys R Us advert, when the US store was launching in the UK.
Jones explained that Peter Auty, the singer who had performed the song on the soundtrack to The Snowman, was not able to sing it because his voice had broken.
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Jones turned up to the studio to record part of the song for an advert featuring a boy flying around the store, but because there was time left to run on the studio booking he ended up recording the whole song.
Jones said: "By then I had released I think 12 albums. So, I was the boy on the block if you like. And I went to the studio, and it's a studio that I do voiceovers in now for Song of Praise called Sound Company.
"I'd only learned 30 seconds [of the song] for the ad. I went into Advision and the orchestra had just finished and they happened to record the whole thing.
"And John Altman, who was the producer said: 'Well, we've done the session in quarter of an hour, we've got another three hours and three quarters left. Let's record the song.'
"And I went: 'I haven't learnt it!' And so he and I learnt it on the piano and I recorded it."
Released as a single in 1985, Jones' cover version peaked at number five in the UK charts, and has become a perennial hit for the Songs of Praise presenter.
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