It’s been 10 years since Will Young became the winner of Pop Idol.
Since then he’s sold five million albums, embarked in an acting career and performed sell out shows all over Europe.
But all this success couldn’t compare to the gift of being a father – and the openly gay star says once he’s found the right man he will follow Sir Elton John and David Furnish and start a family.
“I’m ridiculously broody,” Will, 32, reveals. “And it’s annoying because right now I am single, but I want to settle down and have kids.
“My heterosexual friends are getting married and breeding, I do think I will have kids, but I think it will be in my 40s. I’ve got a little bit more growing up to do. And also I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t in a stable relationship. But Elton and David have really kicked off something inside
“I don’t blame my job as the reason for me being single. The two relationships I’ve had have both been when I least expected it and when I have been at my most busiest.
“I’m in my 30s, I’m interested in gardening and listening to Radio 4, in alright shape and I’m embracing life fully. I’m thinking about doing upholstery for God’s sake. I would want a full-on unit if I were to have child. I think the change would be interesting.”
He even says he would follow Elton and David in mixing their sperm before fertilisation with a partner. “It’s mind blowing really,” he laughs. “I could actually have a kid. Would you do you and your partner in, and let one swim away and you don’t know! I think that would be best. I’ve got to find a man first though.”
The star is preparing to release his eagerly awaited fifth studio album, Echoes. An album that’s seen him take a more electro and dance inspired theme. Lead single Jealousy is already shaping up to be a number one single.
Will is thrilled he’s managed to keep his career on track – he’s been too scared of losing what he’s worked so hard for since Pop Idol.
“I didn’t and I don’t want to muck it up. I always say to myself when I get a bit drunk – is this worth screwing up your whole career for?” he explains. “Do I really want to do that and then risk losing my career? The answer is always no to be honest.
“I really mean that, there are temptations and I think I would be absolutely mortified if I was one of those people who ruin their career by getting swayed with drink and drugs.”
The star, who has appeared in acting roles in Marple, Sky Living show Bedlam and trod the boards in a Royal Exchange Theatre production of the Noel Coward play The Vortex, also cites his manager Simon Fuller, who has managed him since the beginning, as keeping him on the straight and narrow.
“I always wanted to still be doing what I do after 10 years,” Will says. “Simon Fuller is key, he’s always given me this space to do it. He’s the guy that says ‘Yeah, go and act’ or try this out. I think it’s always a test, the key thing is about the music. It’s not about the fame, the money or the parties and some forget that these days.”
And unlike former reality show winners like Steve Brookstein and Leon Jackson, Will says he has respect for the show that made him famous to begin with.
Will says: “I do feel a strong affinity with Pop Idol. I love all those reality shows I watch them the whole time.
“You can’t be a victim, you’ve got to make of it what you can. How many people get opportunities like that? I’ve also kept my feet on the ground. I am just the guy who won the talent show. It wasn’t like I was the million pound signing that they found. I was the posh boy that won a talent show
that looks a bit like Frank Spencer! I’m lucky to still be here.”
Last week it was revealed his runner-up and former friend on the show, Gareth Gates, had accepted a job singing on P+O Ferries crossing the channel. Will doesn’t laugh at all when I tell him about it – he says good luck to him and reveals he nearly suffered the same fate thanks to his dad.
“My dad said to me after Pop Idol, he would take the ferry to France for work, and he’d seen people performing on the ferries,” he giggles. “He was like ‘Darling, I’ve spoken to someone, I’ve got you a gig on the ferries!’ And I was like: ‘I’ve just won Pop Idol!’ and he was like ‘I know but it’s good money!’ I bet the money is good.
“When I did the first audition for Pop Idol, I got offered the lead in ‘We Will Rock You’ and I remember saying to my friend ‘Oh, shall I carry on doing the show?’ Obviously I’m pleased I did what I did – but one day I’ll be on a West End stage. There’s talks about a show later this year.”
On paper according to the annual rich lists Will is considered to have a personal fortune of £12.5 million. He scoffs at the thought but says he’s more than comfortable with his money. He’s just bought a town house in Hackney, that he’s busily filling with antiques and art work, and he owns a pad down in Cornwall where he enjoys surfing weekends away with friends whenever he can.
“I love those rich lists. They total up earning, before tax and I have such a laugh with my friends about it. Long may the lie continue,” he admits. “I am really into cars though, so I’ve had an old 1961 Porsche, I’ve had an old Bristol, I’ve just bought a G Wagon.
“I will still splash out on stuff, like the new house, but I will live there for 20 years. I’m moving now from Notting Hill to Hackney, and it’s too trendy. I wanted a really nice garden and I couldn’t get that where I was. I have invested a lot of money and been careful with it.
“But saying that I love bric-a-brac and furniture. I’ve just been to the Kempton Park antiques market, and bought four dining room chairs for £65.
“And I’m investing my money the co-producer of this new film Coriolanus. Ralph Fiennes has directed it and is in it. It is like do I buy a car or do I invest in a brilliant independent film, learning what it is to be a producer. And that’s been a whole new thing for me, being behind the camera. I have come in as the investing producer and I am learning and I really want to do more films. You get a real sense of achievement that what you’ve earned has gone into this and it’s created this whole story. It’s a
really cool thing.”
Famously diplomatic Will – who studied politics at Exeter University – isn’t quite so enamoured with is Prime Minister David Cameron, who he feels has made a big mistake confusing the public with his plans for a Big Society. He even says he’d like to take over as Prime Minister.
“I think that he’s f***ed it with Big Society,” he says. “I think he’s playing an OK game. But we’ve allowed people to be the victim.
“There was this mum the other day in he wake of the riots going ‘Well, what are my kids meant to be doing’, well do it yourself. You either sit back and watch it go to ruin or set up a community group. “You lobby the MP, that’s what everyone else is doing. We have pandered to a victim-state. It’s not about not helping people who aren’t in need, but it is about making people take responsibility. No-one seems to be taking responsibility. I’m going to run for Prime Minister, if I’m allowed to wear Burberry.”
Will Young’s fantastic new album Echoes is out now.