When Nathan Evans sang a 19th- century sea shanty of a sailor in struggle with a whale it never struck him as a route to stardom.
A video he made to entertain a small number of followers on the social media platform TikTok has now gained such momentum that he has quit his job as a postman and won a contract with Polydor Records.
The Wellerman, a song about men bidden by their captain to harpoon a right whale, has received more than 7.5 million views and has attracted others to record themselves performing in harmony with him, including the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber playing his electric piano.
He also inspired Gary Barlow and Ronan Keating to record a duet.
Mr Evans, 26, of