It doesn’t feel like five minutes since we were standing in the queue in Woolworths, excitedly clutching the CD single of ‘Pure And Simple’ to our chest, but it’s now officially been 15 years since Hear’Say topped the charts with their debut track.
Upon its release in 2001, ‘Pure And Simple’ quickly became the fastest-selling debut song of all time here in the UK (a record which was beaten a year later by ‘Pop Idol’ victor Will Young), holding the top spot for three weeks and selling over a million copies in the year.
The track’s release also marked the end of ‘Popstars’, a unique TV juggernaut which ran for just one year, but ultimately changed Saturday night television as we know it, by inspiring talent show staples ‘Pop Idol’ and ‘The X Factor’.
Before viewers could get involved with the introduction of a public vote, ‘Popstars’ served as a behind-the-scenes look at the formation of what was intended to be Britain’s biggest new pop group.
Sadly, that’s not quite how it ended, and at the end of it all, Hear’Say fizzled out with a whimper, rather than a bang, less than two years after their formation, citing “abuse from the public” as the main reason for their decision to split up.
More than a decade later, and some of the show’s main stars remain household names today, while others have faded into obscurity.
Here’s what the winners of ‘Popstars’ - as well as the judging panel and some other contestants you just might remember - are up to in 2016...