Darius Campbell

Darius Campbell-Danesh (born 19 August 1980) is a Scottish singer, songwriter, musician, actor, and film producer.

Darius Campbell
Campbell performing in August 2012
Campbell performing in August 2012
Background information
Birth nameDarius Campbell-Danesh
Also known asDarius
Born (1980-08-19) 19 August 1980 (age 41)
Glasgow, Scotland
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • actor
  • film producer
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active2000–present

Campbell performed the role of Billy Flynn in the West End production of Chicago in two runs of the musical. He played the lead role of Sky Masterson in the Olivier Award-winning Guys and Dolls, and the originating role of Rhett Butler in Sir Trevor Nunn's theatrical adaptation of Gone with the Wind.

In 2010 he trained with tenor Rolando Villazón, won the ITV competition Popstar to Operastar and performed a duet with Villazón on The Impossible Dream. The UK's biggest operatic production was the occasion of his operatic début, at The O2 arena with the Royal Philharmonic, in Carmen. At age 29, he assumed the lead role of Escamillo, Carmen's lover. Also in 2010, he starred in The History of the Big Bands tour, a show which takes the audience on a musical journey through the big band and swing era.

Early lifeEdit

Campbell was born in Glasgow on 19 August 1980 to a Scottish mother, Avril Campbell, and an Iranian father, Booth Danesh; his family live in Bearsden.[1] The eldest of three boys, his younger brothers are Aria (born 1983) and Cyrus (born 1995). He attended Bearsden Primary School[2] and the Glasgow Academy,[3] before going on to study English Literature and Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.


2001–2002: Popstars and Pop IdolEdit

Campbell's professional career began with a non-singing role in the Scottish Opera's avant garde 1990s production of The Trojans. As a teenager he then performed at Covent Garden Royal Opera House with the Scottish Opera in a production of Carmen.[4][5]

He first gained fame in 2001 after appearing on the British talent competition Popstars.[6] A year later he was voted to the finals of the TV talent show, Pop Idol. He turned down Simon Cowell's record deal, then signed with producer Steve Lillywhite.

2002–2004: Colourblind and Dive InEdit

Campbell in 2003

The first single written by Campbell, "Colourblind", was released on 29 July 2002 and entered the UK singles chart at number 1, staying at the top of the charts for two weeks, it was certified silver.

His debut album, Dive In, was certified platinum in the UK in 2004, charting at number 6 in the UK albums chart during the competitive pre-Christmas sales.[7] He has subsequently had five UK Top Ten singles and a second gold album.

He wrote all 12 songs on the Dive In album and produced one of the tracks called Better Than That whilst collaborating with a number of other producers such as The Misfits and The Matrix on the other tracks. Steve Lillywhite was executive producer on the album. Campbell, then performing as Darius Danesh, supported Shakira on her world tour and went on to complete his own sell-out UK Dive in Tour.

The Dive in Tour took place in April and May 2003. The fifteen dates scheduled for May expanded to twenty three dates on public demand.[8]

2004–2005: Sink or Swim book and Live TwiceEdit

His book Sink or Swim, about the perils of the music business, was a Sunday Times sixth best seller. He contributed to the War Child charity album[9] with Coldplay and Oasis and headlined in India with Alanis Morissette[10] after his album went platinum there.

After receiving news that his father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he wrote and dedicated his second studio album Live Twice to Dr Booth Danesh, who later made a miraculous recovery.[7] In 2005, the album's title-track Live Twice became his fifth Top Ten single.[11]

2005–2008: Chicago and Guys and DollsEdit

Campbell had two West End runs in Chicago[11] during 2005-2006, and at 25, became the youngest actor to fill the role of Billy Flynn since the show first opened on Broadway in 1975.

In 2007, after seeing Ewan McGregor in the role, he played the lead in Michael Grandage's Olivier Award-winning production of Guys and Dolls, starring as Sky Masterson.[12] Later that year he reprised his role of Billy Flynn for the 10th Anniversary charity performance of Chicago in London, to benefit the charities Breast Cancer Haven and Breast Health Institute.[13]

In 2008 he returned to London's West End to play Rhett Butler in Sir Trevor Nunn's musical adaptation of Gone with the Wind.[14]

2010–2011: Popstar to OperastarEdit

In January and February 2010 Campbell won the UK's ITV1 talent show Popstar to Operastar, in which eight pop stars were trained to perform famous opera arias. He was mentored by tenor Rolando Villazón, with whom he went on to duet with on the song "The Impossible Dream". In May 2010 he appeared as toreador Escamillo in Bizet's opera Carmen at The O2 Arena in London.[15] At age 29, he assumed the lead role of Carmen's lover. Also in 2010 he starred in The History of the Big Bands tour[16] – a show about the Big Band and Swing Era, featuring the songs of Frank Sinatra and the music of the key musicians of the big band era, including music from Harry James, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Woody Herman and Buddy Rich.

2013: From Here to Eternity the MusicalEdit

On 1 July 2013, it was announced that Campbell would play the lead role of Warden in the show From Here to Eternity the Musical.[17]

2015: Funny GirlEdit

Campbell played Nick Arnstein in Funny Girl at the Savoy, following a transfer from the Menier Chocolate Factory in April 2016.

Other workEdit


In 2003, Campbell appeared as himself in an episode of the Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, performing "Girl in the Moon" at a graduation ball. In 2009, he guest starred on the BBC show Hotel Babylon as Gennaro Fazio, an Italian magazine editor.[18]

In January and February 2010, Campbell competed in and won the ITV talent show Popstar to Operastar, in which eight pop stars were trained to perform world-famous opera arias. He was mentored by world-leading tenor Rolando Villazón, with whom he went on to duet with on the song "The Impossible Dream".


Campbell is an Ambassador for The Prince's Trust, helping underprivileged youth. He has designed a guitar for Guitar Aid.[19] He works with and supports the Lymphoma Association and Cancer Research UK, in addition to other cancer charities.[20]

Personal lifeEdit

Campbell married Canadian actress Natasha Henstridge in a secret ceremony in February 2011.[21] They filed for divorce in July 2013.[22][23] The divorce was finalised in February 2018.[24]



  1. ^ Sarah Swain (12 October 2010). "Snow White has to be woken up by a real Scotsman – you won't see me in a pair of tights! - Evening Times | Features | Editor's Picks". Evening Times. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  2. ^ "Centenary celebrations for Bearsden Primary - Local Headlines". Milngavie Herald. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  3. ^ Bernadette McNulty Published: 12:01AM BST 9 April 2008 (9 April 2008). "Frankly, Darius Danesh does give a damn". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  4. ^ "GMTV 12 January 2010 : Popstar to Opera Star". Gm.tv. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  5. ^ "Broadway.com". London.broadway.com. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  6. ^ Dingwall, John (15 January 2010). "Darius Campbell: I've changed my name from Danesh because I feel so Scottish". Scottish Daily Record. Archived from the original on 31 December 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  7. ^ a b "The Record Music Magazine". www.therecordmag.com. Archived from the original on 20 November 2006. Retrieved 8 October 2006.
  8. ^ "Darius goes on tour". BBC News. 11 December 2002.
  9. ^ "Music stars unite for war charity, 14 October 2002". BBC News. 14 October 2002. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  10. ^ "Alanis Morissette and Darius to stage at MTV Immies, 1 December 2004". IndianTelevision.com. 1 December 2004. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  11. ^ a b "The Big Smoke, 7 November 2005". Thebigsmokex.blogspot.com. 7 November 2005. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  12. ^ "Guys And Dolls the Musical". Guys And Dolls the Musical. Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  13. ^ OfficialLondonTheatre.com Archived 11 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Darius Danesh Is Gone with the Wind Rhett Butler". Whatsonstage.com. Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  15. ^ "Darius lands first major opera role". The Press Association. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
  16. ^ "History of the Big Bands". historyofthebigbands.com. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
  17. ^ "Pop Idol finalist Darius takes Burt Lancaster role in musical remake". Evening Standard. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  18. ^ "Hotel Babylon credits". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  19. ^ "The Darius Guitar". Guitar Aid. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  20. ^ Morrison, Jenny (16 November 2014). "Darius Campbell hails his parents after they BOTH make amazing cancer recoveries". dailyrecord. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Natasha Henstridge - Natasha Henstridge And Darius Campbell Wed - Contactmusic News". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
  22. ^ Loinaz, Alexis (2013). "Natasha Henstridge Files for Divorce From Darius Campbell | E! Online". eonline.com. Retrieved 30 July 2013. Darius Campbell
  23. ^ Zach Johnson (24 July 2013). "Natasha Henstridge, Darius Campbell Getting Divorced After Two Years". US Magazine. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  24. ^ "Natasha Henstridge reaches divorce settlement after four long years". Montreal Gazette. 27 February 2018. Retrieved 10 March 2018.


External linksEdit

Preceded by
Winner of Popstar to Operastar
Succeeded by
Joe McElderry