"I'm a survivor and I've got the scars to prove it," declares Donny Osmond with feeling, and rightly so; the former teenage heart-throb and singer has had to cope with huge success, career slumps and hard-won comebacks over the years.

By the time he was 30, the heady years - as the first boyband superstar, stealing the show as one of The Osmonds, and with millions of girls swooning over his solo hits - seemed like a long-lost dream as he languished in career wilderness.

Skilful reinvention - and being cast by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber as Joseph in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat - as well as his gritty determination ("After selling 100 million records, I wasn't just going to disappear") eventually saved him in the Eighties. Since then he's doggedly forged enduring success.

Health scares

"There have been peaks and troughs, as well as many triumphs," admits Osmond, who's also weathered health problems. Three years ago, a dance injury he sustained while competing in and winning Dancing With The Stars in 2009, the US version of Strictly, threatened his mobility, and 18 months ago, a problem with his vocal chords left him fearing he'd never sing again.

It was as a complete shock when his voice apparently started fading. "I put it down to ageing when there were notes I simply couldn't reach," he remembers, but it proved to be a polyp on his vocal chords which needed surgery. "I truly feared I'd never sing again, but my voice is back to full strength now," he says with clear relief.

Without surgery for his dancing injury - he discovered eventually that a tendon had pulled away from the bone in his hip - he was warned he could be left with a limp and unable to dance again. Audiences at his long-running, sell-out shows in Las Vegas, where he sings and dances alongside his sister Marie, can attest to his full recovery.

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No regrets

Osmond got hooked on the limelight early. "I remember thinking then, 'Wow, I have to do this for the rest of my life'."

Constantly performing and touring cost him a 'normal' childhood, but he has no regrets, even though he struggled as a teenager to deal with sometimes harsh criticism. "Rolling Stone magazine came out with an article which said it was the worst day in rock 'n' roll history the day Donny Osmond was born. I was so young, trying to figure out who I was, and that was hugely hurtful," he reveals.

"As a kid, my father, who was our manager, never let me get above myself. Also, I've always been able to think there's Donny 'the performer', but the balance away from that is the normality of being Donny, the father, husband, grandfather, and neighbour.

Never smoked, drank or taken drugs

"As one of the biggest teeny boppers back in the day, it would have been very easy to lose it and get caught in the hype and excesses. But I've never smoked, drunk or taken drugs - my strong faith [he's Mormon] and my upbringing kept me on a pretty straight path.

“It's ironic that I was mocked for years for being 'uncool' because of that, but without wanting to sound smug, which I'm not, I think I've had the last laugh."

He relishes career highlights including performing at London's Earls Court when he was 14. "I flew over the audience singing Puppy Love with thousands of girls trying to reach me, which you can imagine at that age was pretty cool. I thought, 'Does it get any better than this?'"

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Not retiring any time soon

Now though, he has no plans to retire: "Never - show business is my life and performing's in my DNA. I love the challenge of continually progressing my music and style.

“Some of the words in my Survivor song sum it up: 'I did my very best and now as the seasons pass I've tried to make it last'. I love my life, am having a blast, and don't feel my age.

“Debbie jokes that she has six boys not five and if I act like a teenager sometimes, she'll say, 'Honey, grow up!' but I tell her, 'Honey, where's the fun in that?'"

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