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Gareth Gates

First Ever Pop Idol's Runner Up

Born in Bradford in July 1984, Gareth Gates always knew he wanted to be a performer. It’s well known as a young boy he was head chorister for Bradford Cathedral Choir and performed solo for the Queen when she visited in 1997. What’s less well known is that he has a natural gift for music and, as well as being a faultless vocalist, he is an accomplished musician, playing piano and guitar to the highest standard.

In 2002, Gareth was famously runner-up to Will Young in the UK’s first Pop Idol. Instead of disappearing into ‘pop oblivion’, he carved out a very successful career for himself, having hits and travelling worldwide. Gareth sold 5 million records worldwide, released three albums and had five UK number-one singles. He won record of the year in 2002 and with that had the second best-selling single of the ‘noughties’ with ‘Unchained Melody’. Outside of the UK, Gareth was awarded Best International Male in 2003/04 from MTV Asia, MTV China and MTV Taiwan.

In 2008, Gareth donned the sequins and Lycra every Sunday night to take part in the hit ITV1 show Dancing on Ice, in front of millions of TV viewers, coming fourth in the competition. Not bad for someone who couldn’t even stand up on the ice at the beginning!

Post-Dancing on Ice, Gareth decided to change musical direction and accepted the lead role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It was a role he first played at the tender age of eight in school and proved to be an ideal start to his theatrical career. During this time, Gareth also tackled his first pantomime as Prince Charming in Cinderella at Wimbledon Theatre, to which he thoroughly enjoyed.

In 2009, Gareth auditioned for, and impressed, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, which led to him playing the role of Marius in the 25th anniversary tour of Les Misérables. This mammoth ten-month tour played to sell-out audiences as far afield as Manchester, Norwich, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Paris, Bristol and Southampton, ending at the Barbican in London with 22 special performances at the show’s original home. This brand-new production featured new direction, staging and arrangement – and Gareth wowed audiences up and down the country, and a new cast recording was also made. Following on from this successful stint, Cameron Mackintosh asked Gareth to resume the role in the West End, which finished in June 2011.

In the autumn of 2011, Gareth spent time planning and filming a documentary that showed the struggle faced by people with a stammer, Gareth Gates: Stop My Stutter. This emotional journey followed Gareth as he taught young people with a stammer the McGuire technique, in a bid to change their lives. Gareth, now a qualified teacher, spent four days teaching these students and learning about their individual goals and challenges.

In June 2012, Gareth took on his most challenging role to date, one that contained more speech than he has had to tackle before. He played the have-it-all rich kid Eddie in the brand-new musical Loserville at West Yorkshire Playhouse – doubly enjoyable, as he got to work in his home county and spend time with his family.

Following this, Gareth joined the cast of Legally Blonde on its UK tour, playing the role of Warner. In addition to this, he toured with a new production of Boogie Nights with The Osmonds, and even sang ‘Puppy Love’ to delighted crowds! He also appeared on the second series of the popular ITV2 show The Big Reunion, which saw him join other pop stars in creating a new boy band, Fifth Story, who appeared at a sold-out concert at the Hammersmith Apollo, London.

In addition to releasing The Very Best of Gareth Gates in 2014, Gareth continues to tour, write and produce music. This year Gareth has just finished touring the UK with Footloose the Musical, where he played the comedy role for the first time! He loved it.

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