Will Young, new 2022 UK tour news, photo Joseph Sinclair

Will Young To Celebrate Pop Idol Anniversary With Album And Tour

by Geoff Ford

Will Young is to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his Pop Idol victory with his Will Young – 20 Years Tour, set for October and November 2022, together with an album 20 Years – The Greatest Hits. Since winning the Pop Idol show’s first series, in 2002, Will has gone on to become the most successful contestant to ever appear on the show with over 10 million records sold including the No.1 best-selling single of the noughties Evergreen/Anything Is Possible and his recent 2021 album Crying on The Bathroom Floor among his eight UK Top 3 albums.

Pop Idol was broadcast to as many as 10 million viewers when it originally aired. It featured a closely fought contest between Will and Gareth Gates, in the final, with Will emerging the victor. Will received a massive 4.6 million votes from the public earning him with a deal to release his UK No.1 debut album From Now On. The singing competition was one of the first of its kind and, with just two series, cemented its legacy in British pop culture.

“I’ll never forget how people took the time to pick up the phone and vote for me”

Will Young, 2002, photo Indira Cesarine

“I love the phrase ‘time flies when you’re having fun’”, Will reflects, “and the last 20 years have been more fun than I could ever have imagined! I’ll never forget how people took the time to pick up the phone and vote for me, it’s kept me humble and grateful ever since.

“The whole thing was a rollercoaster of fun and laughs and it felt very validating to be voted for by so many people. It was such a new experience, not just for me, but also for everyone involved in the TV show. No one knew it was going to become such a huge success, to the point where it was even debated in parliament!

“I don’t think I would’ve become a pop star at that time without Pop Idol because I don’t think anyone would’ve signed me, an openly gay politics student.  That’s what was so beautiful about the show.”

Will’s feisty rebuke of Simon Cowell, during the series, endeared him to the public and he remains one of the most popular artists to emerge from the reality talent programme genre.

In September 2021, Will returned to touring with a short series of intimate live shows, including a date at the City Varieties, Leeds. He was performing several of the new tracks from his new album alongside classic songs and chatting with audiences.

“Surprisingly, I didn’t feel like I had been away for that long,” says Will. “I thought I might be more nervous because it had been such a long time due to Covid, however my muscle memory of gigging kicked-in and I absolutely loved interacting with the audience, singing so many of my songs with just a piano. It was a beautiful experience.”

Will went on to give more detail about what fans can expect as he celebrates his 20th anniversary.

“I am going to be playing most of my singles from over the last 20 years, possibly in chronological order! I’m also going to have a request section where me and my pianist would have learnt every single one of my songs, including all the B-sides!

Will Young, photo Matt Holyoak

Whilst Crying on The Bathroom Floor was Will’s interpretation of songs by female artists who he admires, it in no way felt like a covers’ album, quite a feat. Will had written to all of the artists whose songs made up the album and, in return, many of them have replied.

“All of the responses were lovely,” Will adds, “but I was particularly moved by Clare Maguire’s response. Her single Elizabeth Taylor is such a special song and she’s such a kind person. I was so pleased that she was really thrilled with my version.”

Alongside news of the tour, Will has also announced details of his upcoming album 20 Years – The Greatest Hits, set for release in 2022. Spanning from his Pop Idol winner’s single Evergreen and the No.1 hits Light My Fire and Leave Right Now to Daniel, from Crying On The Bathroom Floor, together with two brand new songs, the album will be available on CD, deluxe signed CD and vinyl LP via Sony Music.

Will is well known for his love of his dogs and gardening, he has even made the occasional appearance on BBC TV’s Gardeners’ World.  He revealed how these have helped him during the lockdowns the past 18 months.

“Animals are a huge passion of mine. Having rescue dogs to look after, with all their various operations and rehabilitation, definitely kept me focused. One of my concerns, I’m exploring at the moment, is how dogs like beagles are tested on in laboratories when they don’t need to be. If I can shine a light on animal cruelty, then I will. When it comes to gardening, I absolutely love it and get so much satisfaction out of it. I loved appearing on Gardeners’ World, it’s one of my favourite TV shows.”

Will Young – 20 Years Tour 2022 dates:

Wednesday 12 October, Glasgow, SEC Armadillo

Thursday 13 October, York, Barbican

Saturday 15 October, Birmingham, Symphony Hall

Sunday 16 October, Edinburgh, Usher Hall

Tuesday 18 October, Newcastle, 02 City Hall

Wednesday 19 October, Blackpool, Opera House

Friday 21 October, Hull, Bonus Arena

Saturday 22 October, Manchester, 02 Apollo

Monday 24 October, Sheffield, City Hall

Tuesday 25 October, Liverpool, Philharmonic Hall

Wednesday 26 October, Oxford, New Theatre

Friday 28 October, Ipswich Regent

Saturday 29 October, Southend, Cliffs Pavilion

Monday 31 October, Torquay, Princess Theatre

Tuesday 1 November, Portsmouth, Guildhall

Thursday 3 November, Cardiff, St David’s Hall

Friday 4 November, Bournemouth, Pavilion Theatre

Saturday 5 November, Brighton, Centre

Monday 7 November, Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall

Tuesday 8 November, Bath, Forum

Thursday 10 November, Swansea, Arena

Friday 11 November, London, Palladium

Tickets are available from Friday 29 October, please visit WILL YOUNG | AEG Presents