How We Met: Matthew Cain & Will Young

'It went horribly wrong: he thought I was over the top, I thought he was haughty'

Matthew Cain, 35

After a 10-year career as a documentary-maker, Cain moved in front of the camera as culture editor at Channel 4. He has just completed the series 'What Makes a Masterpiece?', which airs in January. He lives in north London.

We didn't like each other when we first met. It was at the South Bank Show Awards in about 2004. I was producing and he was booked to perform. We met because I sat him on my table as I was a fan and wanted to get to know him – but it all went horribly wrong. He thought I was over the top; I thought he was haughty.

A few years after that I got to thinking he'd be a great subject for a documentary, and approached his record company. I thought he was interesting as although he was the first musician to come through a reality TV show, he didn't fit the mould – he was too clever, too posh and gay.

The idea was that I would follow him round for six months with a hand-held camera. I remember the first day of filming, afterwards I said to my assistant, "He's really difficult, this is going to be a nightmare." I didn't realise at the time Will had also gone straight to his assistant and said, "I've got to get out of this."

Looking back I don't understand how we could have got off on such a wrong foot because we absolutely love each other. What I like is that we have a whole range of experiences together. We can have really intelligent conversations and we can have idle banter.

He's also really emotionally intelligent. When I started my new job stepping in front of the camera for the first time, it also went horribly wrong and my confidence was destroyed. I phoned Will, who was doing something glamorous like lying by a pool in LA, and he talked me through it. Afterwards I was raring to go.

I always tell Will I'm a huge fan but he never believes me. I say to him, "Sing to me, William, sing to me," but he never does. I always end up singing to him, doing songs from the Evita soundtrack. Sometimes, begrudgingly, he joins in.

I call Will my sister. When you are gay, growing up as an outsider, I think your friends come to mean more to you.

I'd dearly love to see him meet his prince, fall in love and settle down. He says the same about me. He has promised to sing at my wedding, if I ever find the right man. I'll hold him to that.

Will Young, 32

After winning the inaugural series of 'Pop Idol' in 2002, Young has gone on to have numerous hit singles and three UK number-one albums. He has more recently branched out into acting; his TV credits include 'Skins' and 'Bedlam'. He lives in east London.

I didn't like Matt much at first. We met at an awards show – I think he was on our table or was helping with our table or something. He was quite loud, all, "Hi darling, how are you," and I was like, "Oh my god, who is this person?"

A few years later he said he wanted to do a South Bank Show programme about me. He asked a few times, but I was very wary, because it was him. But eventually I agreed and the first time we properly met was when we started actually filming. He came to my dressing-room and kept asking questions. I think I said something like, "When I'm on stage I still feel shit about myself," and he was like, "Why, darling, why?" He was so probing; I thought I'd made a terrible mistake.

But he actually came into my life at a great time – I'd just become a lot happier. I'd written an album coming out of a relationship and was enjoying work. We spent six months doing the documentary and because we were spending so much time together, because he wouldn't get off my back, we became closer. When it was finished, I remember thinking now it's over, will we remain friends? We just carried on as before. We started going to the theatre and talking a lot on the phone. Weirdly, having thought that we were so different to begin with, we discovered we were actually quite similar.

At the end of last year I became an executive producer on the Coriolanus film. I asked Matt if he would do a documentary on it. So we went to Serbia together and the whole thing was hysterical. I remember being there with Ralph Fiennes, obviously an amazing man, and there were me and Matt and I'd be there sticking my finger through my jeans and pretending it was my knob – just really the most immature thing – on the set of this very powerful movie that I was investing in. We just made each other laugh the whole time.

I don't think it's weird Matt's a fan. Maybe it was when we first met, but it's not like he's writing me letters or stealing my underwear. He's so supportive of me.

He's a great communicator and a very good listener. He may also be one of the cleverest people I know. You could easily underestimate him as he's very sparky and friendly. But he knows everything about everything. It's really annoying.

The Will Young album 'Echoes' is out now on RCA. 'What Makes a Masterpiece?' airs on More4 at 9pm on 14 and 21 January

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker