Pop Idol, the show that brought us Will Young and Gareth Gates, is now running in 35 countries. The company behind it is Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment, which also formed the Spice Girls and S Club, two of the most successful acts of the 1990s. Fuller founded 19 in 1985, naming the London company after Paul Hardcastle’s hit song about the Vietnam war. Two-thirds of the company’s projects are outside Britain and sales have risen 88% a year from £8m in 2000 to £53.4m in 2003. The company recently hired Mal Young, former head of drama at the BBC, and will launch a joint venture with David and Victoria Beckham next year.
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