Gareth Gates "never wanted" to be famous.

Gareth Gates didn't know what to expect from Pop Idol

Gareth Gates didn't know what to expect from Pop Idol

The 39-year-old singer shot to fame as a teenager when he became the runner-up of the innovative ITV singing competition - which was won by Will Young - in 2002 and admitted the idea of becoming a celebrity had always "terrified" him because of his then-stammer.

The 39-year-old singer told the Times newspaper: “‘Pop Idol’ was the first of its kind, well before the likes of ‘The X Factor’, and so I don’t think anybody knew exactly what to expect. I didn’t ever want to be famous — fame terrifies me because of my speech. If you’re well known you’re approached by people, you have to converse with them, you have to do interviews and that’s the last thing I ever wanted. But I knew I had a talent, and being able to sing meant everything to me, because I wasn’t able to talk.”

Meanwhile, Gareth recently won the celebrity version of Channel 4's military series 'SAS: Who Dares Win' and admitted that his only impression of his finale competitor Matt Hancock - who served as the UK's health secretary during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic - was from media reports but found that the show actually served as a "leveller" to all contestants because they all had to "prove their worth" throughout the various challenges.

He said: “Beforehand I only knew what I’d seen in the papers. I think some of us felt let down by the government, and I’m not just talking about Matt. There were things that we were asked to do, which, you know, didn’t play out in their own lives.”

“But the show was a leveller. It didn’t matter who you were — the DS [directing staff, who led the training] didn’t care, and after a few minutes we didn’t care. That was really quite liberating — you had to prove your worth in that particular situation.”