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Zoe Birkett (born 16 June 1985, Consettmarker, County Durham, Englandmarker) was one of the youngest contestants on the ITV show, Pop Idol, being only 16 at the time.

Birkett had had hopes of being a musician and had previously auditioned unsuccessfully to be in S Club 7, finishing in the final 12. She did better in the first series of Pop Idol however, finishing fourth behind Will Young, Gareth Gates and Darius Danesh, being the highest placed female on the show.

During the programme, she performed such songs as Whitney Houston's "One Moment in Time", "I Will Always Love You" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody"; Aretha Franklin's "I Say a Little Prayer"; ABBA's "Thank You For the Music" and Judy Garland's "Get Happy".

After the show, Birkett was the warm-up act on Pop Idol winners Will Young's and Gareth Gatess tour. She performed three songs for Pop Idol: The Big Band Album.

In 2003, Birkett signed a recording contract with 19 Management and released one single, "Treat Me Like a Lady", on 13 January 2003. The track was co-written by fellow Pop Idol contestant Sarah Whatmore, but only reached number 12 in the UK Singles Chart on 25 January. This quickly drifted down the chart and faded. Her second single, "Never Gonna Happen", lived up to its name as it was scrapped, and she has not released any further singles. Soon after, Birkett was dropped by the record label. She has since finished secondary school and gone to university.

Birkett appeared in Robert C. Kelly's production of In Town Tonight at the Glasgow Kings Theatre and then went on to star in pantomime in her home town of Darlingtonmarker, along with Big Brother star Anthony Hutton. She has more recently toured the country with What A Feeling - a tribute to musicals such as Saturday Night Fever, Fame, Flashdance, Grease and many more - with Noel Sullivan and 1980s pop singer Sinitta. At the time, she was engaged to Pop Idol 2 runner-up Mark Rhodes; however the pair later split up and Birkett began dating her panto co-star Anthony Hutton.

In October 2006, she and Sullivan flew to Las Vegasmarker to host a show called Cover Girls in the Golden Nugget Casino. She now lives in Darlingtonmarker. Birkett starred in Thriller Live from May to June 2007, playing the lead female role. During 2008, Birkett has appeared in many shows, including West End Rocks, another tribute to musicals such as Fame, Grease and Flashdance.

Birkett landed herself a major West End role in Priscilla Queen of the Desert from March 2009.


  1. Hubbard, Michael. Zoe Birkett hopes for Idol success, BBC, 24 January 2003. Accessed on 27 May, 2008
  2. Roberts, David. Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums. Guinness World Records Ltd 17th edition (2004), p. 60 ISBN 0851121993
  3. Neil, Beth. Where Are They Now?, Daily Mirror, 30 September 2006. Accessed on May 27, 2008.

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