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A NEWLY SINGLE WILL YOUNG TALKS GRINDR AND POLITICS

WITH A NEW ALBUM OUT THIS MONTH, ATTITUDE CATCHES UP WITH OUR FAVOURITE POP IDOL TO CHAT POLITICS, HOMOPHOBIA AND APPS

PHOTOGRAPHY: TOM VAN SCHELVEN

There’s something quite extraordinary about Will Young. Fourteen years on from winning TV talent show Pop Idol, he’s not only still making music, he’s critically acclaimed for it! Quite something, when you consider the cut-throat industry he’s working in.

But that’s the thing with Will: Even back in 2001, we knew there was something special about him, and not just because of his unique voice and the courage he displayed in standing up to then fledgling TV meanie Simon Cowell. He had that special something. That much talked about ‘je ne sais quoi’.

Musically, he’s never put a foot wrong (yes, we are kindly ignoring that ill-conceived, corporate-sanctioned Long and Winding Road duet with Gareth), and his forays into acting (Mrs Henderson Presents, Bedlam and Cabaret) and even political activism have been done with aplomb.

This is the TV talent show winner who not only came out as gay at the very start of his career – which in 2002 was a BIG deal and almost unheard of – but was also asked to debate on Question Time and appear opposite the ferocious (and then rather dashing) Jeremy Paxman.

When I meet Will at Bush Hall near his home in west London, I do so with trepidation. Although I’d heard he was a doll from everyone who’s met him, he later confesses that wasn’t always the case when, during a dark year, he went through a patch “where [he] wasn’t very nice.”

When he greets me he narrows his eyes:

“We’ve met before, haven’t we?” he says, smiling warmly. Having been a tough and cynical journo for nearly 15 years, I am well aware of that celebrity standard of flattery in return for a lovely write up. But he’s right. We have met, albeit only for a fleeting “Hello” at a booze-fuelled after-show party, just hours after he triumphed on Pop Idol all those years ago. When reminded he politely acknowledges it (though I’m still not convinced he remembers, and why should he?) before fondly looking back at his triumphant night and sharing stories about a mutual show producer friend.

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About Attitude

The new issue feature former child star turned Bates Motel psycho, Freddie Highmore – who is all grown up in our exclusive shoot and interview. We also have a feature looking at why gay men love horror movies so much. On the eve of the UK general election we look back at party voting records and ask can we really trust the Tories? And as the Irish marriage referendum approaches, we look at the country’s road to equality, and how Colin Farrell is supporting his gay brother. In other voting matters, we ask experts if the UK can ever hope to win the Eurovision again. We have interviews with pop prince Will Young, American TV guru Andy Cohen, music mogul Pete Waterman, and that absolute babe Alexandra Burke. We also give you the run down on all the best prides and festivals of the summer.
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