Will Young: “Pop Idol was very important for gay rights”

The singer explains the political and social impact of TV talent shows

Pop Idol winner Will Young has explained in an exclusive interview with Radio Times how he thinks the TV talent show he won ten years ago aided the cause of gay rights in Britain.


The multi-million selling singer opined that “Pop Idol made people look at what their prejudices might be,” discussing his sudden public outing after the show’s climax.

“If they’ve voted for this guy all along, they liked him, they felt passionate about him, got caught up in the TV show – then suddenly, do they have to think, ‘oh, well I’m not gonna buy his music ‘cause he’s gay?’ It made people look at their own prejudices,” said the 32-year-old star.

Young also expressed his belief that Pop Idol would have had the same impact whether or not he was part of the show, modestly describing himself as “a conduit” and suggesting that “[Pop Idol], rather than me, was very important for gay rights.”


Don’t miss the star’s thoughts on politics, depression and the dangers of talent shows becoming more “cynical” in this week’s issue of Radio Times, on sale now.