Darius Campbell Danesh – family of former Pop Idol and theatre star confirm death in US aged 41

Former Pop Idol contestant and theatre star Darius Campbell Danesh has been found dead in his US apartment at the age of 41, his family has announced.

The singer and actor was found dead in Rochester, Minnesota, on Thursday (August 11) – although the cause of death remains unknown.

A statement said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Darius Campbell Danesh.

"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.

Former Pop Idol contestant Darius Campbell at the Suicide Squad European Premiere in London

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“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 at Woolworths, in Watford, in 2005.

The Scottish singer-songwriter and actor – who was known as Darius Danesh when he made his first bid for fame in ITV show Popstars in 2001 – also appeared on the first Pop Idol, which was won by Will Young.

After Pop Idol, Campbell Danesh turned down Simon Cowell’s offer of a record deal and signed with producer Steve Lillywhite, whose credits include U2 and the Rolling Stones.

His debut single, Colourblind, was released in July 2002 and went straight to number one, marking the start of a run of top 10 releases.

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He later appeared on stage in Chicago as Billy Flynn in two runs of the production, as well as Guys And Dolls, Gone With The Wind and more in the West End.

After coming third in Pop Idol in 2010, he went on to win the first series of ITV’s Popstar To Operastar contest, beating Bernie Nolan of the Nolan Sisters in a close final and was later cast as toreador Escamillo in Carmen at London’s O2 Arena.

In 2011, speaking about reprising the role of Chicago’s scheming lawyer Flynn, he said he had based his portrayal of the character on his old mentor and Pop Idol judge, Simon Cowell.