Pop Idol is rumoured to be returning - and Will Young would like to be a judge

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Will Young at the 2009 Brit Awards  (Getty Images)
Will Young at the 2009 Brit Awards (Getty Images)

Will Young has confirmed he would be game for being a judge on a rebooted Pop Idol – and it’s a lot to take in.

First there was the rumour in March that talks about reviving the show were actually happening behind the scenes at ITV. Two decades after the original series (feel old yet?), Metro reported that “there could in fact be a future ahead for the show”.

Then, as if that wasn’t thrilling enough, in an interview with Metro today, Will Young has also confirmed that he would be interested in being a judge on the show that launched his career.

Young said it would “be brilliant. There was only ever two series of Pop Idol, so it could be interesting, a laugh.”

“I have heard the rumours, yes, but I don’t know anything concrete,” added the 43-year-old singer. “I think it would be fun, if it was done in the right way.”

The right way for the singer includes the fact that he would need contestants to all receive mental health care assistance if he was going to get involved: “There would have to be a wellbeing coach, or something there, for me to do it, to make sure everything was done properly.”

Young hosts a podcast called The Wellbeing Lab and also released mental health focused book Be Yourself and Happier in April. It shares the lessons he learnt over the years that have helped him build mental stability.

Finally, Young shared his ideal panel of judges who would sit next to him: Griff, Laura Marling, and Clara Amfo – and now we’re really excited.

So will the show actually happen? It’s neither been confirmed nor unconfirmed, but an insider told Metro in March that “a full return for the show was unlikely”. So we can only cross our fingers, folks.

Although Pop Idol only had a short run from 2001 to 2003, it has a fond place in the hearts and minds of millions of Brits – and not only because it launched the careers of Young and Gareth Gates. It was very much the prototype for Simon Cowell’s The X Factor, which arrived soon after and ran for 15 series, punctuating our Saturday nights in.

Pop Idol winner Will Young in 2002, with Ant and Dec (PA)
Pop Idol winner Will Young in 2002, with Ant and Dec (PA)

Will Young shot to fame when he was just 22 years old, on the first ever series of Pop Idol, which he won.

He went on to have the stellar career we all now know him for: from winning BRIT Awards, to enjoying the success of multiple albums, to having number one hits, peforming alongside Queen, and acting in 2013’s Cabaret (for which he was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award). He’s packed a lot in over the last 20 yeas.

Most recently he shared a documentary about his twin brother Rupert, who died by suicide in 2020 aged 41. His 20 Years – The Greatest Hits album was released today.

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