Iconic TV talent show ‘set to return’ and OMG

It’s where it all began for Simon Cowell…

Pop Idol return

by Carl Smith |

Now that The X Factor is officially off the air, it seems there's a gap in the market for a big-budget, sad backstory, good old singing competition.

Look, we love The Voice, but sometimes we need a blast from the past.

Luckily, rumours have been circulating that Pop Idol is set to return to ITV after a 20-year hiatus with an insider revealing, "I can confirm that ITV ARE in talks to revive Pop Idol, 20 years after it finished on TV in 2003.

"A revival is not confirmed yet, but with @tvukzone, we can verify that they are looking at a return."

Pop Idol
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Despite the show only running for two series, it has always been a favourite with fans and we really hope it's coming back.

In 2001 Simon Cowell, Nicki Chapman, Neil Fox and Pete Waterman judged a bunch of wannabe pop star-types, before Will Young saw off competition from the likes of Gareth Gates, Zoe Birkett and Darius Campbell, to be crowned winner.

But what exactly are the series 1 line-up are all up to now?

CHECK OUT Here's what the Pop Idol 2001 contestants look like now...

Gallery

Pop Idol series 1: Where are they now?

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Will obviously beat Gareth Gates in the final and went on to release a string of massive singles including Light My Fire and Leave Right Now. He released a greatest hits album in 2009 and just missed out on a spot on The Voice UK panel to The Script's Danny O'Donoghue. In 2016 he joined Strictly Come Dancing; only to leave the show three weeks later due to 'personal reasons.' Will still makes music and will be releasing his book To Be A Gay Man in September 2020.

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Gareth released three studio albums after finishing in second place, including the absolute tune that was Anyone of Us (Stupid Mistake). In 2014 he competed in Dancing on Ice: All Stars and joined supergroup 5th Story on The Big Reunion. He was in a relationship with Coronation Street actress Faye Brookes from 2012 to 2019 before being linked to DJ Chloe McLennan in July 2020.

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Zoe came fourth on the show and released a top twenty single (Treat Me Like a Lady, which reached number 12) before being dropped by Pop Idol creator Simon Fuller's label. In 2014 she entered Big Brother (not even the celebrity version) and came ninth.

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The first contestant to be eliminated from Pop Idol is also known as Chris Niblett. According to his LinkedIn profile, Korben's been a Regional Education Manager at Estee Lauder Travel since late 2014.

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Darius Campbell (who back then went by Darius Danesh) had previously auditioned for Popstars with his cover of Britney Spears' ...Baby One More Time; and returned to Pop Idol the next year. He went on to release five top ten singles and won ITV show Popstar to Operastar in 2010. Darius married actress Natasha Henstridge in 2011 but filed for divorce just two years later.

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After finishing fifth, Hayley bagged a small role on Coronation Street and starred as Sandy in Grease alongside Robbie Williams' best mate Jonathan Wilkes. She auditioned for The X Factor in 2012 (though didn't make it past boot camp) and in 2016 was one of the candidates set to represent Romania at Eurovision before pulling out due to a severe knee injury.

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Rosie signed a five-album deal after coming sixth; releasing top twenty singles Blink and A Little Bit. After her record label went bust she was released from her contract, but Rosie did enter Australian Idol in 2007. Didn't make it through to the final 12, though.

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Laura now has a music degree after graduating from the University of Ulster in 2006. She also teaches hip-hop dancing in schools.

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Aaron now plays weddings and functions as part of the Aaron Bayley Band (inspired.) He also joined fellow popstar-types Andy Scott-Lee, Stacey McClean, Rikki Loney and Kavana in supergroup G*Mania, who went on tour performing Glee songs.

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Rik was replaced by Darius when he was forced to leave the live shows due to severe laryngitis. He released a top 10 single - a cover of Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You - and appeared on Celebrity Fit Club in 2002. Back in March 2014, he was an exam invigilator.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

The first contestant to be eliminated from Pop Idol is also known as Chris Niblett. According to his LinkedIn profile, Korben's been a Regional Education Manager at Estee Lauder Travel since late 2014.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

She might've only finished ninth, but Jessica went on to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest with Come Back. She even managed to come third, which is pretty bloody amazing.

Pop Idol was on TV between 2001 and 2003 and basically set the blueprint for future talent shows like The X Factor, Britain's Got Talent and The Voice UK.

Although it only aired for two series in the UK, the show spawned a HUGE international franchise including American Idol, Australian Idol, Canadian Idol, Indian Idol and many, many more.

Pop Idol then went on indefinite hiatus when judge Simon Cowell launched The X Factor in 2004.

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Look! More news!

Pop Idol series 2: Where are they now?

Gareth Gates: where is the Pop Idol star now?

Michelle McManus looks amazing 15 years after her Pop Idol win

The X Factor became a massive success and launched the likes of Little Mix, One Direction, Olly Murs and Leona Lewis into pop superstardom but the show was rested in 2019 due to declining viewing figures in recent years, despite attempts to shake up the format with The X Factor: Celebrity and The X Factor: The Band.

Although it was first thought the show would only got on hiatus for a year, ITV boss Kevin Lygo recently admitted that The X Factor may NEVER return.

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, he said, "It's not definitely returning, it might return, and if it does the format will tweak. I think people always talk about format changes. I know it was the most successful entertainment show for decades.

"And you need to be wary of changes, we'll/we all think there were too many changes towards the end of the run, but I'm sure X Factor will be back at some stage and it's really: ‘when is the right moment’."

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