Darius's Flynn 'based on Cowell'
Chicago star Darius Campbell has revealed he's based his portrayal of scheming lawyer Billy Flynn on his old mentor, Simon Cowell.
Darius, who was known as Darius Danesh when he made his first bid for TV fame in ITV show Popstars, also appeared in the first Pop Idol, which was eventually won by Will Young.
He is reprising his role as Flynn, who makes his clients into celebrities in a bid to win over the jury, opposite Ugly Betty star America Ferrera in the musical set in prohibition-era Chicago.
Darius said: "He's the consummate businessman and a wonderful guy and there's a lot of Simon Cowell in Billy Flynn in terms of the way he approaches things and I recognise that in terms of the character."
He said shows like the X Factor made "entertainment out of people's tragedy and desperation", but admitted he still watched them and credited Simon with persuading him to take on the role in Chicago in the first place.
He said: "I'm incredibly grateful for the experiences I've had and all the opportunities that it opened up and to be able to call Simon Cowell a friend and to be able to have dinner with him."
Darius, who also appeared in Guys And Dolls and Gone With The Wind in the West End, is planning his next album after his run in Chicago finishes and said it will be a "modern take on crooning", influenced by Cole Porter.
Chicago reopens at the Garrick Theatre in London's West End on Monday November 7.