Where is Pop Idol star Rik Waller now: Inside his life since the show

Starring in popular TV shows can propel some people to stardom, while it marks a break for others who quickly return to their day jobs.

Shows such as Love Island and The X Factor have created the careers of some of today's most famous faces, but before these shows took over, there was Pop Idol.

Pop Idol saw a host of aspiring pop stars compete against one another, as they attempted to get the seal of approval from judges Simon Cowell, Pete Waterman, Nicki Chapman, and Neil Fox.

The show was wildly popular, and launched the singing careers of stars including Gareth Gates, Will Young, and Michelle McManus, completely transforming their lives.

However, for every TV success story there's a handful of wannabe stars who never quite made their mark, and Pop Idol created many, including Rik Waller.

The singer, who appeared on the show in 2001, impressed the judging panel with his powerful vocals, going on to gain a spot in the final 10. Yet it wasn't meant to be, and Rik had to pull out of the show due to a severe case of laryngitis.

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His singing journey didn't stop there however, and Rik bagged himself a £400,000 recording contract with EMI. He had two hits make the UK Top 40, with one charting at number six in the UK Singles Chart.

Soon after, EMI dropped him which prompted Rik to create his own band. He signed a new deal with another record company, and announced the Beyond Reality Tour in 2004.

The band was renamed multiple times, and failed to make a go of things with tour tickets unable to sell. Overall Rik managed to release two albums, but ended his singing career in 2007.

During his short-lived singing career, he also appeared on TV shows Celebrity Fit Club in 2002, and Back To Reality in 2004.

His final TV appearance was also in 2007, when he appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

Where is Rik Waller now?

Following the breakdown of his singing career, Rik was left to return to normal life.

He fell in love with a Pagan in 2007. Rik said at the time: “I’ve got two people to think about now and talent doesn’t always pay the bills.”

Financial hardship soon followed, and the once aspiring pop star found himself jobless. His relationship with the Pagan also unfortunately did not work out.

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He spoke of his struggles in 2013, telling the Daily Mail: “The most demoralising thing I’ve ever had to do was queue up at the job centre and have people look at me saying, ‘What a failure’.

“When you’ve lost the ability to do the job you’ve always done, it’s an incredible stab in the back to find people are actually laughing at you. It's why I don't make a lot of effort to talk to the press these days – it can be more trouble than it's worth."

Following this, Rik's life began to take a positive turn, and he found himself a new job in 2014. He began working as an exam invigilator at secondary schools for Piper Assessment in Sittingbourne.

He also continued exploring his passion for music, through helping his dad run a mobile karaoke and disco business.

Rik also eventually changed his name back to Richard, and had shown off an array of colourful hairstyles and experimental looks when last pictured.

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