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William Young Wins Pop Idol (UK)

Sun Feb 10, 2002 8:13 am

BBC EXTRACT:

Will wins Pop Idol

William Young has won ITV1 talent search show Pop Idol in a nail-biting final with 4.6 million votes - 53.1% of the vote.
The 23-year-old from Hungerford, Berkshire, wins a recording contract with BMG records.

He will have his first stab at the charts on 25 February when double A-side Evergreen/Anything is Possible is released.

He will now be managed by judge and publicist Nicki Chapman and is expected to film a video at a mystery location overseas next week.

Will looked genuinely shocked as the result was announced and put his head in his hands.

He then immediately hugged losing finalist Gareth Gates, who scored 4.1 million votes, and took to the stage to sing Evergreen, dedicating it to Gareth.

Gates and Young campaigned hard in the final week

He eventually shed tears as he was told: "You are a Pop Idol."

The voting was neck-and-neck on Saturday night, with the lead changing several times during the course of the evening, said show hosts Ant and Dec.

A record total of 8.7 million votes were cast by fans.

A BT spokesperson said the volume of calls had threatened the national network, and the company was forced to limit the number of calls that got through.

The National Grid called ITV to check advert break times amid fears of a power cut from huge surges in electricity demands.

Gareth, 17, who has struggled to overcome a stammer, had been the bookmakers' favourite before the final.

He struggled to talk after the result, saying simply:"Will, Will."

Gareth later said: "He (Will) is just absolutely wonderful. I must say that he is an absolutely awesome guy.

"If there's one person who deserves it, it's Will. We are really good friends."

He said he was disappointed, but hoped to have a single of his own out within the next few months, and revealed he had been offered a contract by show judge Simon Cowell.
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