He got his funk on with James Brown to sing Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag at Live 8.

Rocked with Queen at her majesty’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.

And even made his acting debut opposite screen legend Dame Judi Dench in Mrs Henderson Presents.

These are just some of the highlights singer Will Young recounts as his favourites in his 20-year career since he took the Pop Idol crown.

Glasgow Times:

The star, now 42, will celebrate those two decades of success with a greatest hits album which will see him tour the country next year including dates in Glasgow and Edinburgh – and he even has something special up his sleeve for the occasion.

“I am going to do something I have never done before,” confesses Will.

“I am slightly terrified because I am primarily lazy.

“I don’t know why I am doing it but I am going to have a section where people can request any song from the 20 years and that includes B-sides, collaborations, film soundtracks, everything…

“I have got to learn over 100 songs,” he laughed.

He added: “There might just be that one song that means the world to someone and I have never done it because it wasn’t a single or it was on an album and there are only so many songs you can do. I just think that will be a really cool moment.”

Glasgow Times:

Speaking of cool moments, it is remarkable how much Will remembers of his own.

At least 10 million people tuned in to watch him being crowned the winner of Pop Idol over Gareth Gates in 2002, it was a cultural phenomenon at the time.

Most of the country was either team Will or team Gareth but inside that bubble, it was a different story as Will explains.

“I can remember everything. I saw a producer from the show the other day and I was telling her things and she was like, ‘how can you remember all of that? I was like oh my God I remember everything.

“The best thing about it and I am really happy that I can say this…it genuinely was that we did have a lot of fun.

“We actually weren’t very competitive with each other.

“We just kind of…I don’t know we just really wished each other on and supported each other. We had a lot of love.

“That was just so much fun and to be honest I couldn’t believe I was singing live every week. That for me was just a massive bonus.”

Glasgow Times:

He continued: “What was amazing about it was that I was getting direct feedback from the public.

“I was being kept in every week so my confidence was growing.

“That is quite rare to get such direct feedback so quickly and also I was given a record contract by the public.

“I wasn’t given a record contract by a record company. They didn’t have any say in it actually. That is very rare and doesn’t happen often and I think that is quite amazing.”

Following Pop Idol, Will’s voice continued to impress and his talent went on to give him success with double debut Evergreen and Anything is Possible achieving the accolade of the biggest selling single of the noughties while the masterpiece Leave Right Now won an Ivor Novello award.

Through those hits, he found a fanbase in Scotland and those fans acceptance of him is something he is forever grateful for particularly when he was booked for the now-defunct musical festival T in the Park where he was met with some snobbery over his performance slot.

He revealed: “I did T in the Park and a few people were quite nasty about the fact I was doing it as a sort of pop act.

“So I was nervous and I felt a bit vulnerable, you know worried – and the Scottish fans filled out the tent and it was just absolutely amazing.

“It wasn’t the Scottish fans that were being nasty, it was just other silly indie acts who had a problem with their own identity.

“It was just so moving and I will never forget it actually.”

He continued: “It is quite rare to have an out and out pop act at somewhere like T in the Park (back) then – and it was just amazing.

“I felt really accepted and I think Scots people don’t suffer fools and they don’t like pretension.

“I recognise that and I am not like that

“I think that is probably why there are certain areas where I feel like a real kinship for that reason.”

Glasgow Times:

That kinship perhaps also comes from Will spending much of his childhood in a family home in an undisclosed location in the South West of Scotland.

Recounting his time there, he revealed it was another reason why he loved Scotland so much before explaining: “We used to have a house up in Scotland which I never spoke about but it was in my family for 60 years.

“Scotland to me was a second home.

“We don’t have it anymore I really miss it actually.

“That was my childhood all the way up to a few years ago.

“I never spoke about it because it was a very secret and special place.”

With longevity and success most popstars can only dream of, does Will think what he has been able to do can be achieved again?

“There were always talent shows around before Pop Idol.

“It was just the big thing about Pop Idol is that people voted in and they voted for one singer and for a record contract that had never been done,” he said.

He added: “But there were always talent shows…Opportunity Knocks, New Faces

“To be honest it doesn’t really matter where talent comes from as long as the talent comes out.

“I have always said the proof of the pudding is in the eating

“Don’t get your knickers in a twist about them just wait and see what people do

“That is the way I always felt about my own career.

“I want to be around I want to do this for my life. I will just keep my head down and get on with it and then suddenly I am around 20 years later.”

Will Young plays Glasgow’s SEC Armadillo on October 12 and Edinburgh Usher Hall on October 16 next year. Tickets are on sale now. 

You can pre-order 20 Years – The Greatest Hits now via HERE