Will’s still a pop idol - 10 years on

Will Young in concert at the Dalby Forest venue.Will performs.Picture Richard Ponter 122651c
Will Young in concert at the Dalby Forest venue.Will performs.Picture Richard Ponter 122651c
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Fame is temporary, class is permanent.

From Michelle McManus to Leon Jackson, the list of talent show winners to have crashed and burned since Will Young’s Pop Idol triumph is a long one.

More than 10 years since beating Gareth Gates to the crown, the 33-year-old has grown into a firmly established and respected star - as evidenced by a bucketload of hits and a string of awards, along with this latest sold out gig.

Supported by a five-piece band and three backing singers, it takes a spot of flirting with a male member of the audience a few songs in to break the ice and establish a proper rapport.

“I think we’re connecting,” he tells the crowd which he hails as “the best audience we’ve had this summer” to loud cheers.

While it’s easy to be cynical about such pandering, Young does seem to genuinely enjoy himself. His patter is top notch and that trademark huge grin is rarely off his face.

Unshaven, casually dressed, and possessing an almost ridiculously relaxed stage presence - he sings several songs with his hands in his pockets - the impression given is of an artist completely at ease with himself.

And the eclectic crowd demonstrates how far-reaching his appeal remains, and there’s screams from members of both sexes when he climbs up a ladder to change into one of the many T-shirts attached to the peculiar backdrop.

The highlights are plentiful, with an energetic Switch It On, a soothing All Time Love, a show-stopping Leave Right Now and the two nods to his Pop Idol days, Light My Fire and Evergreen, showcasing his musical evolution.

Many more reality TV “stars” are sure to come and go over the next decade but the smart money would be on Young outlasting them all.