Pop Idol bosses planning show comeback 20 years after hit talent competition first aired on ITV

Pop Idol bosses are in ‘very early’ talks for the show to make a comeback after it last aired in 2003.

The ITV talent competition saw Will Young, now 43, triumph on series one in 2002, releasing single Evergreen, while Gareth Gates, 37, finished in second place, and Michelle McManus, 41, went on to win the second season in 2003.

Now, just over two decades on from the live final of series one, which was viewed by 13.4million people, the contest could be returning to screens, with an ITV source telling MailOnline that ‘talks are at a very early stage’.

Back again: Pop Idol bosses are in ‘very early’ talks for the show to make a comeback after it last aired in 2003 (Will Young pictured in 2002)

However, they added that it’s ‘unlikely to return for a full series’.

It is understood ITV approached show bosses in America, Holland and Sweden about bringing the format back before Christmas, with talks beginning this week.

Original creator Simon Fuller – the brainchild behind the likes of the Spice Girls, S Club 7, Annie Lennox and the US version of the show, American Idol – is said to be involved and ITV would like the program to air for a special run next autumn to mark 20 years since it was last on UK television.

Stars: The ITV talent competition saw Will Young, now 43, triumph on series one in 2002, releasing single Evergreen, while Gareth Gates, 37, finished in second place (seen on show)

Stars: The ITV talent competition saw Will Young, now 43, triumph on series one in 2002, releasing single Evergreen, while Gareth Gates, 37, finished in second place (seen on show)

The original saw Simon Cowell, Neil Fox, Nicki Chapman and Pete Waterman on the judging panel but a new line-up is yet to be confirmed.

In 2004 it was decided Pop Idol would not return when Simon Cowell left to launch The X Factor that year.

However, the Idol franchise became a global success, with American Idol, Australian Idol, Canadian Idol and Indonesian Idol becoming just some of the many versions launched around the world.

Pop queen: Michelle McManus, now 41, went on to win the second season in 2003 (seen on show)

Pop queen: Michelle McManus, now 41, went on to win the second season in 2003 (seen on show)

Fame game: Now, just over two decades on from the live final of series one, which was viewed by 13.4million people, the contest could be returning to screens (Darius Campbell and Zoe Birkett pictured 2002)

Zoe appeared on series one and went on to star on Big Brother in 2014

Fame game: Now, just over two decades on from the live final of series one, which was viewed by 13.4million people, the contest could be returning to screens (Darius Campbell and Zoe Birkett pictured 2002)

The original saw (LR) Neil Fox, Nicki Chapman, Pete Waterman and Simon Cowell on the judging panel but a line-up is yet to be confirmed (pictured 2003)

The original saw (LR) Neil Fox, Nicki Chapman, Pete Waterman and Simon Cowell on the judging panel but a line-up is yet to be confirmed (pictured 2003)

The UK version saw the likes of Darius Danesh rebrand himself as Darius Campbell, now 41, and launch a successful pop career after his controversial appearance on Popstars, the show which launched Hear’Say, in 2001.

He competed alongside favorites Zoe Birkett, who went on to appear on Big Brother in 2014, and Rik Waller in series one.

Taking to Instagram last month, Will thanked fans for their support 20 years after he auditioned for Pop Idol.

Musical stars: The show launched a number of pop careers, including Rik Waller who had two UK top 40 singles (pictured 2002)

Musical stars: The show launched a number of pop careers, including Rik Waller who had two UK top 40 singles (pictured 2002)

He wrote: ’20 years. Thank you for coming on this crazy journey with me and for all the support you have shown across the years. ‘

Gareth posted: ’20 YEARS today, I became the UK’s biggest Loser! How has it been 20 years?

‘It feels like yesterday I was stood on that stage with @willyoungofficial & @antanddecwaiting for the results to come through ..

Grateful: Taking to Instagram last month, Will thanked fans for their support 20 years after he auditioned for Pop Idol

Grateful: Taking to Instagram last month, Will thanked fans for their support 20 years after he auditioned for Pop Idol

‘I owe everything to Pop Idol. Yes I worked hard on music well before going on the show (learning to play instruments and sing from the age of 8) but would a shy kid with a stammer from Bradford have made it in the music business without that platform and exposure? Probably not.

‘It’s a good job @simoncowell liked me!

‘Thank you to all that voted and for giving me the beautifully blessed life I still live today.’

Thankful: Gareth posted: 'Thank you to all that voted and for giving me the beautifully blessed life I still live today'

Thankful: Gareth posted: ‘Thank you to all that voted and for giving me the beautifully blessed life I still live today’

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