Burnley's homegrown star Andrew Derbyshire pays tribute to his friend and fellow 'Pop Idol' contestant Darius Danesh whose death was announced yesterday

Burnley's homegrown star Andrew Derbyshire has paid tribute to singer Darius Danesh whose death was announced yesterday at the age of 41.

Andrew met Darius when they both appeared on the hit reality TV talent show 'Pop Idol' in 2002, one of the first of its kind. Andrew made it into the top 50 and Darius was voted into the top three with Gareth Gates and Will Young who won the show.

Andrew said: "I have so many lovely memories of our Pop Idol days and most recently a little job we did together.

"Darius was always a gentleman and is yet another young soul gone too soon."

Andrew Derbyshire, (left) Burnley's homegrown star, has paid tribute to his fellow 'Pop Idol' star Darius Danesh, whose death at just 41 was announced yesterday.

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Andrew was spotted on the show by producer Bill Kenwright and chosen to play the lead role in the hit musical Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in London.

The former Basics Theatre School student later re located to the capital and his career was given a massive boost when he reached the semi finals of Britain's Got Talent after belting out Jocelyn Brown’s Somebody Else’s Guy in his audition which won him a standing ovation from the judges.

A year after the show Darius signed a record deal and his first single, Colourblind entered the UK charts at number and stayed there for two weeks.

Scottish born Darius went on to become an actor and film producer after recording two albums which both reached the top 40 in the album charts.

Darius performed the role of Billy Flynn in the West End production of Chicago in two runs of the musical before playing the lead role of Sky Masterson in the Olivier Award-winning Guys and Dolls, and the originating role of Rhett Butler in Sir Trevor Nunn's theatrical adaptation of Gone with the Wind.

In 2010, he trained with tenor Rolando Villazón, won the ITV competition 'Popstar to Opera Star’ and performed a duet with Villazón on The Impossible Dream before making his debut at the O2 Arena with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.