William Robert Young (born January 20, 1979), is a British singer and actor. He catapulted to fame after winning the inaugural UK Pop Idol contest in 2002.
Young was born in Wokingham, Berkshire, with a non-identical twin, Rupert. He was educated at Horris Hill preparatory school and Wellington College. He then attended the University of Exeter where he read Politics. At university, some of Young’s old haunts included Timepiece, The Old Firehouse, and Harry’s, where he used to work. In September 2001, he became a student at the Arts Educational School in Chiswick, London, starting a three-year course in musical theatre with a scholarship.
In February 2002, Young came to national prominence by singing in and winning the ITV singing contest/reality tv show Pop Idol. Contrary to popular belief, Will was not a surprise winner when beating Gareth Gates in the final show; in fact, he gained the most votes nearly every week throughout the entire finals. A lot of ‘casual’ viewers of Pop Idol may have been surprised at Will’s victory because Gareth had got a lot of publicity (partly) due to his stutter, perhaps creating the illusion that he was more likely to win than Will. Young’s first single was a double A-side featuring Westlife’s song “Evergreen” and “Anything Is Possible”, a new song written for the winner of the show by Cathy Dennis. This became the fastest-selling debut in UK chart history selling 403,027 copies on its day of release. It went on to sell over 1.4 million copies and in the official list of the all-time best-selling singles in the UK issued later that year, it appeared 12th.