Celebrated tenor Alfie Boe has said he is “angry” that there have been “so few advances” in the treatment of brain tumours, nearly three decades after his father died with the disease.

The musician, who is the new patron of the charity Brain Tumour Research, says it is shameful that charities have taken on the brunt of the research and is calling on the Government to step up.

“There is no doubt in my mind that research into brain tumours should be a priority and I am ashamed to think that charities are having to do so much in this area,” the tenor said, adding: “The Government should be doing so much more.”

The award-winning musical theatre star was 23 when his father Alfred died in 1997.

South Bank Sky Arts Awards
Alfie Boe said he is ‘angry’ that the situation for brain tumour patients ‘hasn’t really changed’ (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

“It makes me angry that, in all this time, the situation for patients like Dad hasn’t really changed,” Boe said.

“I feel incredibly sad to think that families are still facing this awful diagnosis and, nearly 30 years later, there have been so few advances in treatment.”

Describing his father as “fun and gentle”, the opera singer said he was “honoured” to be working with Brain Tumour Research to endeavour to help those diagnosed.

Reflecting on his father’s deterioration, Boe said: “At the time Dad was diagnosed, I was in my second year at the Royal College of Music and would study in London during the week and then come home every weekend to be with him.

“Week after week I would see the decline, all the more stark to me as I was away for a few days and the changes were evident each time I was back.”

Ten months after his diagnosis, Alfred died in the arms of his son at the age of 63.

“It will always be a great regret that Dad never got to hear any of my records, to come to one of my concerts or to see me in Les Miserables,” the 51-year-old said.

Michael Ball and Alfie Boe – Together in Vegas album launch
Boe performing with Michael Ball (Dave Nelson/PA)

“When I do shows with Michael Ball, I see the joy on his face when his dad is in the audience and how wonderful it is for them to share that experience. I wouldn’t begrudge them that for a minute, but I wish my dad and I could have had that. But my biggest regret is that Dad didn’t get to meet my children. My son is named after him just as I was.”

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer and just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to researching this disease, according to Brain Tumour Research.

Boe is set to embark on a solo UK tour later this month and plans to use his audience to raise funds for research into brain tumours.

As part of his work as a patron of Brain Tumour Research, the charity’s fundraising team will be at his concerts in Salford, Aylesbury, Birmingham and Blackpool Opera collecting donations from fans.