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Wednesday, 11 December, 2002, 13:22 GMT
Pop Idol bosses deny series delay
Gareth Gates (left) and Will Young
Pop Idol launched several singing careers
The makers of Pop Idol have denied claims they are planning to delay the next series because the public is fed up with reality TV.

The show's producers said Pop Idol II was always scheduled to go out in the autumn - and that has never changed.

"Reports that we have delayed putting out the show are absolute rubbish," said an ITV spokesman.

"The show was never meant to go out in February, as has been reported by some sections of the press. That was purely a guestimate.

Formerly Hear'Say: (bottom L to R) Kym Marsh, Danny Foster, Noel Sullivan, Suzanne Shaw and Myleene Klass
Popstars started the music reality TV phenomenon

"The original Pop Idol series began in the autumn and that is the time it will go out again."

The original show pulled in 14 million viewers for the final, which saw Will Young triumph over Gareth Gates.

It proved to be one of the biggest ratings successes of the year and earned its creator, Simon Fuller, an estimated 30m, according to The Sunday Times Pay List survey.

The reality shows that followed Pop Idol failed to match it success.

Viewing figures for Popstars: The Rivals and BBC One's Fame Academy have yo-yoed, with Fame Academy initially getting just 4.6 million viewers, although this has now risen to 6.3 million.

Hooked

Viewers became gripped by the music reality TV phenomenon nearly two years ago, when Popstars was launched.

The show set out to find five talented singers, who ended up forming band called Hear'Say, which recently split up.

An average 8.5 million viewers were immediately hooked.

As the show reached its climax and the judges revealed that Suzanne Shaw, Myleene Klass, Noel Sullivan, Kym Marsh and Danny Foster had made the band, about 12 million people tuned in.

Pop Idol aimed to follow that success, launching on ITV just six months later.

By the time the series was down to its five finalists earlier this year, ratings had topped 10 million.

See also:

02 Dec 02 | Entertainment
29 Nov 02 | Entertainment
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28 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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