True to say, I think, that the Bradford public loves the singer Joe Longthorne (pictured).

It’s not just his craggy looks, fair hair and impassioned character – a cross between outspoken chef Gordon Ramsay and Bradford City’s former lionheart Stuart McCall; Joe, as the Irish say, has known the two days.

Born in Hull in 1954 to a family of gipsies, between 1987 and 1990 Joe’s TV series regularly clocked up 12 million viewers a night; his three albums went platinum; his stage shows here and in the United States were packed. He owned four Bentleys, two Rolls-Royces and lived in a swanky house in Maidenhead.

Then he was diagnosed with a form of leukaemia. Nevertheless, after treatment, he kept touring, and in 1996 added a best-selling video, A Man And His Music, to his pile of glittering prizes.

Then, in 2000, he had a nervous breakdown and was officially declared bankrupt. He lost the lot: the Bentleys, the Rollers and the house in the Thames Valley.

There but for fortune, as the song says. In spite of these blows, Joe dug in, returned to his Northern roots and started over in Blackpool. Even a bone marrow transplant in 2007 couldn’t stop him in his tracks. Joe returned to the stage, got back on mainstream television and last year celebrated 40 years in showbusiness. This spring he sets forth on a 150-date world tour, including Las Vegas.

He’s not a quitter: that’s why Bradford people, also well-acquainted with the two days, respond so warmly to him. They’ll get the opportunity to show their feelings on June 12 when Joe’s show arrives at St George’s Hall.

While waiting, they can read his just-published life story which includes excerpts of Joe’s song lyrics, photographs, and lists of his discs, videos, dvds and charities.

The book was written with a little help from one of his friends, journalist Chris Berry, of necessity I suspect; Joe tends to hurl words about and change tack at a speed that would challenge the skill of a House of Commons stenographer.

Here’s a flavour of chapter two: “It’s all here, the loves of my life, the funny things that have happened along the way, the tragedies, the highs, the lows. I didn’t want to miss anything out. With me what you see is what you get. I’m a performer and I love life. Dear Lord, I’ve clung on desperately at times, but I’m still here and feeling stronger now than I have in many years…”

Minus the fruity exclamations and rapid changes of direction, that’s a fair representation of Joe’s heart-on-sleeve way of talking: like a river in spate, holding back is not in his nature.

But before you get to Joe, there are two forewords by actor Ricky Tomlinson and TV critic Gary Bushell, and a preface by Chris Berry. These are like acts on a bill. When Joe makes his entrance, the year is 2005 and he appears to have died.

“I was not just at death’s door, I had opened it and had at least one foot already through it. The medical staff thought I’d shut it behind me!”

The four months of bone marrow treatment in Royal Manchester Infirmary enabled Joe to return to life, get back where he belongs, on stage, and tell his story.

In the words of one of his most popular songs: “Ain’t no stopping us now, we’re on the move…”

Proceeds from the sale of Joe’s life story are going to charity.