TOM Walker has likely been saying the title of his album quite a bit lately.

Released last month after being delayed from October 2018, What A Time To

Be Alive went to Number 1 and became the fastest-selling debut album in the UK in two years.

Weeks before, the Glasgow-born singer-songwriter was living it up with Little Mix, Sam Smith and fellow beanie fan Rag’n’Bone Man at the Brit Awards after beating the likes of Mabel and Idles to win the title of British Breakthrough Act, an award decided by public vote.

Walker dedicated the award to his grandmother Sadie, a woman he had previously described as his “role model”.

The Cumbernauld-based 81-year-old has been to all her grandson’s gigs in Scotland, including when Walker braved the January cold to perform with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers on the steps of Glasgow’s Buchanan Galleries.

Their bagpipes-powered version of Walker’s massive hit Leave A Light On – the sixth most Shazammed song on the planet at one point – went down so well that Walker and the Pipers opened Scotland’s crunch Six Nations match against Italy at Murrayfield with their rework of the song, which has since been released in aid of music therapy charity Nordoff Robins.

“It wasn’t bad for my first time busking in Scotland,” laughs Walker, who is based in London.

Just the other day, Walker was the music act on the Graham Norton show, sharing a couch with Julianne Moore, Kit Harington, Chris Hemsworth and Paul Rudd.

When we speak, the 27-year-old has just finished a day of “sharing songs and recipes” with Jamie Oliver.

“I’m a massive Avengers fan and Jamie has been one of my favourite TV chefs for years – we have his side of beef every Christmas,” says Walker. “I’m getting to do all this crazy stuff that I never thought I’d get to do in my life.”

Down-to-earth and cheerful, Walker is the first to admit he’s no overnight success, and no one-man show either.

The accolades, sales and celebrity pals came after years of study at the London Centre of Contemporary Music, then enduring some false-starts in the music biz.

There were also periods of poverty. Genuine busking, as he notes, is something he had to do in London.

Though his gravelly voice is a distinctive feature of his work, he “came late to the party”, and only started singing his own compositions because he didn’t know any vocalists when he first moved to London.

Like current single Just You And I, Leave A Light On was originally released a couple of years ago before finding worldwide success.

The latter, written for a friend with alcohol problems and a family member who died suddenly, has so far earned a whopping two million sales.

It’s a track not untypical of the contents of What A Time To Be Alive: gutsy songs about getting through tough times.

“A lot of people have messaged me about different songs saying it’s helped them appreciate different things they didn’t before. That’s been amazing, to write a song and then hear that,” Walker says.

The singer is about to enjoy some well-earned down time with good friends before these live dates.

You feel he has quite a few – and not Johnny-come-latelies, grasping at fame’s coat-tail.

With two UK and European tours, festivals and dates around the world, the rest of 2019 looks intense.

“I have a very busy schedule, but my friends have very kindly taken a week off work so we can hang out,” he says. “You need a break once in a while to feel like a normal person again.”