Where Darius is now… near-fatal coma, divorce and parents’ miracle cancer recovery

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It's hard to believe that it's been 20 since the nation was tuning into the ground-breaking reality TV show, Popstars.

The first of its kind, the series created winning band Hear'Say and runners up, Liberty X, but another future star also featured in the programme in the form of Glaswegian hopeful, Darius Danesh.

And while he didn't have any success that time, resurfaced on Pop Idol just a year later where he came in third place to Will Young and Gareth Gates.

He turned down a contract with Simon Cowell and went on to have five UK top 10 singles including his number one hit, Colourblind, and a platinum debut album, Dive In.

Darius Danesh made his first appearance in Popstars but did not have any success

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Aged just 22, he moved to the US and married Candadian actress Natasha Henstridge, becoming step-father to her two young sons.

But their relationship was a turbulent one according to Darius, now 40, who said they were on and off throughout their courtship.

"That relationship was certainly not without its ups and downs. Over the course of 12 years we broke up many times and had a period of six months apart," he previously told the Scottish Herald.

"It was often a long distance relationship for half of it. That in itself was an amazing experience, but a painful one. When you love someone you want to be with them."

Darius came third on Pop Idol and went on to release a platinum album
(Image: Alpha)

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When they filed for divorce in 2013, Darius was devastated.

"I felt a great sense of loss with the divorce and I went through a grieving period. You see, you don’t break up with one person, you break up with three. And in some ways, it’s like a death," he added.

The breakdown of his marriage wasn't the only heartache the mid-Noughties had in store for the star.

Ten years earlier his Iranian-born gastroenterologist father, Dr Booth Danesh, had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and given just three months to live.

Darius married Canadian star Natasha Henstridge
(Image: Getty)

And in 2015, his Scottish GP mother, Avril Campbell Danesh, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

But both went on to make miraculous recoveries, with chemotherapy and radiotherapy curing Dr Booth of stage 4 lymphoma that had spread to his bone marrow.

Before his diagnosis, he had been feeling run-down for 18 months but symptoms were dismissed as arthritis.

It was only when he collapsed one day at home that a scan revealed a tumour the size of a large orange in his pelvis. By that point it had spread to his bone marrow and was terminal.

Chemotherapy shrunk the tumour to the size of a walnut but by July 2004, his body was so ravaged that his heart stopped beating – only to restart again. By Christmas he was in remission.

A decade later Avril found a lump in her breast and also underwent a gruelling course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy on top of surgery.

Darius told the Daily record: "Mum’s illness was very serious – she had a lump in her neck too. It wasn’t good and at one point, we thought we might lose her but she came back.

“My parents are the most amazing, inspiring people.

“Both my parents have been very lucky to have faced death and survived.

Darius ended up in a coma after filming a charity advert for a water filter
(Image: Internet Unknown)

“I love them both so much, I’m so thankful they are still here and they are both so inspiring for me.”

Meanwhile, Darius suffered his own health scare in 2017 when he collapsed into a near-fatal coma after accidentally drinking dirty water from the River Thames while shooting an advert for a charity water filter.

“I drank the water for the video and raised the funds but, when I went to Glasgow to see my mum for her birthday, I collapsed," he told the same publication of his horror hospitalisation which happened because the filter he used was a dummy version.

“It turned out I had a cerebral oedema where your brain swells bigger than your skull. Dad saved my life. He got me to hospital. They diagnosed it quickly.”

He’d caught an inflammatory virus from the Thames, which left his immunity low, then picked up bacterial meningitis.

His mum Avril, who was going through treatment at the time, kept a bedside vigil after he lapsed into a coma.

Darius appeared in Funny Girl alongside Sheridan Smith
(Image: Rex/Shutterstock)

Darius added: “As I came out of the coma, I remember my mum sitting beside the bed.

“It felt upside down and wrong because my mum was going through cancer treatment.

“Yet she was next to me with tears in her eyes telling my brother that they almost lost me.”

The star said: “My illness knocked me off my feet and I was bed-bound for three months and picked up a new respect for what my parents went through.”

Throughout his 20 year career, Darius has had several name changes, reverting to his mum's maiden name Campbell in honour of his grandfather in 2010, before switching back to Danesh.

He launched a successful West End career, starring in Chicago, Guys and Dolls, Gone With The Wind, From Here to Eternity and opposite Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl in 2016.

The star now splits his time between Scotland and Hollywood, where he works in the film industry and produced the Daniel Radcliffe terrorism thriller Imperium in 2016.

In terms of his love life, he was linked to Daisy Lowe in 2016 after meeting through her dad, Gavin Rossdale, but they eventually settled on being friends.

"When you're friends first, you know all of each other's s**t," he said.

"That made being more than friends really easy."

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