Entertainment: County Durham's Zoe Birkett pays tribute to former Pop Idol co-star Darius Danesh

Darius Campbell Danesh was 'really excited about Pop Idol comeback' weeks before death

  Darius Campbell Danesh was 'really excited about Pop Idol comeback' weeks before death Pop Idol favourite Darius Danesh was reportedly 'really excited' about joining his former co-stars in a Pop Idol reunion show which is due to take place this month The 41 year old star, who first shot to fame on Pop Stars back in 2001 before winning the nation’s hearts with his appearance on Pop Idol, was rumoured to be appearing on a reunion special alongside fellow alumni Will Young and Gareth Gates.

Zoe Birkett has paid tribute to her late co-contestant Darius Danesh, who was found dead in his apartment earlier this week.

The late Darius Danesh © PA The late Darius Danesh

Zoe, 37, starred alongside Darius, as well as Gareth Gates and Will Young in 2002's edition of Pop Idol, where she finished in fourth place.

And after the news came to light this evening that Darius had sadly passed away aged just 41, Zoe took to social media to share her condolences.

Read more: Lorraine Kelly and Rylan lead Darius Danesh tributes as Pop Idol star dies just 41

Taking to Twitter, the Consett-born singer and actress, wrote: "Still processing the new of Darius’s death, a big brother to all of us in popidol. I’ll always remember his wonderful warm tall hugs and his words of wisdom. A huge part of my life and you were there during a time I needed you most and I’ll forever be grateful for you that night [Love heart emoji]."

Heartbreaking call reveals moment Darius Campbell Danesh was found unresponsive in bed

  Heartbreaking call reveals moment Darius Campbell Danesh was found unresponsive in bed Helen Skelton started her TV career in children’s television, presenting Newsround and Blue Peter on the BBC. Whilst presenting on Blue Peter for 5 years she took on some incredible challenges, including completing the Namibia Ultra Marathon, cycling to the South Pole and kayaking over 2018 miles down the Amazon River. Since then, she has presented shows across various channels, including Countryfile, several major sporting events for BBC Sport, ITV’s Lorraine, BT Sport’s FA Women’s Super League football matches, and more.

Alongside the touching and heartfelt message was a picture of Zoe, Will, and Darius - all embracing and smiling.

In 2002, Zoe finished fourth on the first ever series of Pop Idol, behind the show's winner Will Young, runner-up Gareth Gates and third-place Darius Danesh. She was also the highest placing female contestant on the show.

After the show, she went on to tour as a warm-up act on Will and Gareth's tours - performing in front of 18,000 people.

In a similar career path, Darius went on to lead his musical success in the West End, performing major shows like Chicago and Guys and Dolls - all after hitting number one in the UK singles charts with hit Colourblind. His debut album, Dive In, also reached the UK top 10.

Earlier today, his family confirmed the news that the 41-year-old Scot had been found dead in his US apartment in Rochester, Minnesota. In a statement, his family said: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Darius Campbell Danesh.

Inside Darius Campbell Danesh’s life with film star wife as she pays devastating tribute

  Inside Darius Campbell Danesh’s life with film star wife as she pays devastating tribute Film star Natasha Henstridge has paid tribute to her ex-husband, Pop Idol star Darius Campbell Danesh, after he was recently found dead in his US apartment aged 41Darius, who found fame on Pop Idol in 2011, tragically passed away aged 41 and was found in his US apartment in Rochester, Minnesota. His cause of death is unknown at this time.

“Darius was found unresponsive in bed in his apartment room in Rochester, Minnesota, on August 11 and was pronounced dead in the afternoon by the local medical examiners' office. The local police department have confirmed that there were no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances.

“The cause of his sudden death is unknown at this stage while medical examinations continue. We ask that you kindly respect our wishes for privacy at this time whilst we come to terms with the tragic loss of our son and brother.”

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Darius Danesh 'visited by pal Gerard Butler' days before shock death aged 41 .
Pop Idol star Darius Danesh Campbell was reportedly visited by his friend, 300 and Olympus Has Fallen actor Gerard Butler, at his US apartment days before he was found dead thereThe 41 year old was found dead on 11 August at his residence, in Rochester, Minnesota, which sits opposite a private clinic, his family confirmed in a statement this week.

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