EACH weekend, the nation’s viewing millions have become transfixed with the small-screen battle between BBC1’s The Voice and ITV1’s Britain’s Got Talent, proving that the reality TV search for a star has never been bigger or more compelling.
In fact, it’s a full decade since the first example of the genre, Pop Idol – the predecessor to The X Factor – made its debut and turned us all into phone and text-voting obsessives, so we reckoned the time was right to celebrate the tenth anniversary of that ratings-grabbing show with two of its biggest young overnight stars, Gareth Gates and Zoe Birkett.
Gareth, of course, reached the Pop Idol final with the ultimate winner, Will Young – but coming runner-up has never held him back, and since those heady days he’s gone on to achieve major chart success, selling over three million records in the UK alone, while making his mark as the star of several stage musicals including Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Les Misérables.
Likewise Zoe – at 16, one of the youngest Pop Idol contestants, who went on to become the female champion – has never stopped working, also specialising in musical theatre in productions such as Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert – The Musical and Fame, and she’s just finished a hugely successful run of Hair in Munich.
With 27-year-old Gareth a busy family man – he and wife Suzanne have a three-year-old daughter, Missy – and Zoe, 26, currently preparing for her next UK show, we were lucky to grab some time with the talkative twosome who’ve remained best mates over the years.
So we whisked them off to one of Gareth’s favourite London restaurants, the exotic La Porte des Indes, where executive chef Mehernosh Mody’s stunning dishes combine traditional Indian cuisine with a French-Creole inspiration…
Read the full interview on the OK Magazine website.
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