Darius Campbell Danesh remembered as 'charismatic and funny' by Simon Cowell after Pop Idol star dies

Simon Cowell said he "first saw Darius on television over 20 years ago and got to know him really well"

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Simon Cowell has remembered former Pop Idol contestant and theatre star Darius Campbell Danesh as “charismatic, funny and just a great person to be with” following the singer’s death aged 41.

Campbell Danesh was found dead in his apartment in Rochester, Minnesota, on August 11, his family announced.

In a statement, former Pop Idol judge Cowell, 62, said: “I first saw Darius on television over 20 years ago and I got to know him really well.

“He was charismatic, funny and just a great person to be with.

Simon Cowell and Darius Campbell Danesh
Simon Cowell and Darius Campbell Danesh
Darius Campbell Danesh
Darius Campbell Danesh

“His passing, for someone so young, is an absolute tragedy and my heart goes out to his family and friends.”

Following his death, Campbell Danesh’s family issued a statement, which 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.

“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.”

The cause of death remains unknown.

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

Gareth Gates, who found fame after finishing as a runner-up on the first series of Pop Idol, paid tribute in a touching Instagram post.

Alongside a picture of himself and Campbell Danesh, the 38-year-old wrote: “I can’t quite believe the news of my dear friend Darius passing. I’m heartbroken.

“Darius took me under his wing during our time in Pop Idol, like a big brother; always looking out for me and for that I thank you my friend.

“I will miss our chats. He was one of the most beautiful, intelligent and gentle souls I was lucky enough to know, a soul that lit up every room.

“Good bye my friend. Forever in my heart x.”