Tom Jones busks on London's South Bank

Tom JonesTickets to see Sir Tom Jones perform usually sell for fantastic sums, but fans got the chance to see the Welsh singer perform for free when he busked on the South Bank in London. Hundreds of music lovers gathered outside the Royal Festival Hall to watch Sir Tom sing hits including It's Not Unusual and Green Green Grass of Home, plus his own versions of rock'n'roll classics like Jerry Lee Lewis' hit Great Balls Of Fire. Some women fans even chipped in with impromptu backing vocals, earning a good-natured laugh from the 68-year-old. The crowd was so thick that security guards had to clear a way for the singer at the end of his set. One spectator even scaled a tree to get a better view, while dozens of others filmed the show on their mobile phones. "We just happened to be walking past and I heard this singing, and I thought it sounded like Tom Jones," said onme onlooker, June, who watched the outdoor gig with her husband Nigel. "He came across as very nice – not at all flash."

Sir Tom, who was accompanied by an acoustic guitarist, raised more than £460 playing for Cancer Research, as part of the BBC Two Culture Show's Busking Challenge, which sees leading acts perform in public places for charity.

Last month the singer disclosed that he had written his first love song to his wife Linda, after 51 years together. His first solo album of new material for 15 years, 24 Hours, was released this week. Tom's busking will be televised on the Culture Show on BBC2 on December 2nd.

Watch the video of Tom busking at the Times Online site here and you can read more and see pictures at the Culture Show website

You can watch the news reports by clicking on the links below

BBC1 News at 10pm ITV News at 10pm By Matthew Moore, Daily Telegraph