Pop Idol stars now – tragic death, Coronation Street fame and quitting singing
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    It's been 21 years since ITV talent show Pop Idol hit our screens but what happened to its stars?

    Simon Fuller’s hit ITV series, hosted by Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly, saw judges Simon Cowell, Pete Waterman, Neil Fox and Nicki Chapman offer up their verdicts on singers, before viewers got a chance to vote.

    A forerunner to The X Factor, it made big household names of its finalists.

    READ MORE: Pop Idol star Darius Campbell Danesh found dead in US apartment aged 41

    The death of former contestant Darius Danesh rocked the showbiz world in August last year.

    As the original singing show celebrates its 21st anniversary, Daily Star has taken a look at where some iconic Pop Idol cast members are now.

    Will Young

    The eventual winner, his first single Anything Is Possible/Evergreen was the best-selling single of the Noughties.

    He’s had three other No1 singles, four chart-topping albums and is worth over £13million.

    He says Pop Idol was a "huge starting point".

    After winning Pop Idol, Will publicly came out as gay.

    In November 2021, the Leave Right Now hitmaker handcuffed himself to a gate, joining a protest at Camp Beagle, a
    camp set up by animal rights activists.

    Earlier this year, he told Daily Star he'd received death threats after sharing a graphic video of a farmer helping a pregnant sheep.

    Gareth Gates

    The show’s runner-up shot to No1 with Unchained Melody, sold 3.5m records, starred in musicals and did Dancing On Ice.

    At 17, he lost his virginity to model Katie Price before marrying a dancer and becoming a dad.

    He is qualified as a speech coach and latterly as a course instructor with the McGuire Programme where he helps those with stammers similar to his own.

    Last December, Gareth reportedly split from his girlfriend Chloe McLennan after two and a half years of dating – the pair seemed to confirm it when they unfollowed each-other on social media.

    Darius Danesh

    Had a No1 hit with Colourblind before starring in musicals such as Chicago and winning ITV show Popstar to Operastar in 2010.

    Known today as Darius Campbell, 41, he is divorced from Canadian film star Natasha Henstridge.

    It was announced on August 16 2022 that he'd passed away.

    He was been found dead in his US apartment – with the cause of his death a mystery.

    Rik Waller

    Forced to quit the series with laryngitis, Rik later had a top 10 single and did Celebrity Fit Club.

    He quit music in 2007 and in 2013, he revealed in an interview with the Daily Mail that due to being jobless and penniless, he was receiving unemployment benefits.

    In 2014, he was working as an exam invigilator in Sittingbourne, Kent.

    Waller also said that, alongside his dad, he was for once running a mobile karaoke and disco business.

    Jessica Garlick

    Welsh singer Jessica went on to represent the UK at Eurovision, coming third with Come Back.

    She married personal trainer Owen and had two kids.

    A bid to revive her musical career in 2009 failed.

    The début single from her unreleased album, Hard Not to Fall, was released on 11 May 2009, one day before the first Eurovision Song Contest semi-final

    The single was only available to purchase from iTunes. She recorded a music video which was posted on her official website.

    Zoe Birkett

    She had a top 20 hit with Treat Me Like A Lady before being dropped by music mogul Simon Fuller’s record label.

    The ex-Big Brother contestant is now 37, a theatre star, mum and kids’ author.

    Since 2009, the stunning reality star has performed in West End theatre.

    She is currently portraying the role of Arabia in Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

    Hayley Evetts

    Hayley released a single, briefly starred on Coronation Street and auditioned unsuccessfully for The X Factor in 2012.

    She sung for the at the Manchester auditions and made it through to bootcamp but just missed out to progress to judges' houses.

    Knee injury stopped her representing Romania at Eurovision in 2016.

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