Sir Tom Jones knew he'd hit "the big time" before a Cilla Black concert when fangirls shred his raincoat to pieces.

The 80-year-old music legend - who became famous for having female fans throw their lingerie at him on stage - has recalled supporting the late 'Anyone Who Had A Heart' hitmaker in the late-60s, just as he had recorded what would quickly become one of his biggest hits, 'It's Not Unusual'.

Tom was tucking into a pork pie and a pint at a pub near to the venue where he was supporting the Liverpudlian, when he heard a group of girls screaming outside, and had assumed it was for "this other pop star kid". But when he stepped out for a closer inspection, he found himself surrounded by the girls, and his raincoat was ripped off and his meat pastry was "gone".

He recalled in an interview with The Sun newspaper: “I was on tour with Cilla Black late 1964. I’d just recorded It’s Not Unusual and I was playing it and I was getting a reaction to it.

“One night, I was in the pub between shows, and I was having a pint and a pork pie. All these girls are screaming outside the pub.

“I thought they were screaming for this other pop star kid but when I walked out into the middle of them, well, they were waiting for me.

“'It’s Not Unusual' had gone up in the bloody charts and I didn’t know.

“So I walked right in the middle and I had this raincoat on and they tore it to shreds and then the pork pie was gone.

“These policemen picked me up and had to carry me through the stage door.”

The 'Delilah' hitmaker is set to release his new covers album, 'Surrounded By Time', next week.

And while he's missed not being able to perform live due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he admitted it's a "small sacrifice" compared to what others have gone through.

He said: “I’m a lucky person, as there’s people that are really struggling with this bloody thing.

“For me, not to be able to sing live on stage is a small sacrifice compared to what other people have to deal with.

“So I can wait and when we are all ready, I will be ready.”