The T Factor – Gareth Gates’ bizarre comeback with his own coconut tea

Pop Idol’s winner return from the dumper is just one of music’s bizarre career swerves.

Gareth Gates, coconut tea magnate
Proper tea millionaire? Gareth Gates, unlikely coconut tea merchant. Image Picture Scott Barbour/Getty Images

If you’ve yearned for the comeback of Pop Idol winner Gareth Gates, then you’re in luck. You’re probably the only person in Britain to hope for the return of the singer of hits such as… we’ll get back to you on that one… Gates has been in pop’s bargain bin for an eternity.

But now Gareth Gates is back. And no-one could have possibly predicted what he’d be returning with. The singer who last troubled the charts in 2007 with No 22 smash Angel On My Shoulder is launching his own range of coconut tea.

It sounds like an idea from week four of The Apprentice, but Gates is convinced his coconut tea will be every bit as successful as his chart-topping cover of Unchained Melody. (Yes, we had to look it up, even though it sold over half-a-million.)

The logo of Gareth Gates' coconut tea, Cuppanut
Down to a tea

Called, in not quite a punning fashion, as Cuppanut, the tea promises three flavours: regular coconut, coconut & cranberry and the head-melting hedonism of coconut, ginger and turmeric. Phew, rock & roll, etc.

Gates promises Cuppanut is “full of health-bursting properties” and admits: “I often experimented for fun, never thinking that one day my teas would become a reality.” To be honest, we can’t quite believe it’s happened either. But, y’know, good luck to the feller. Maybe it’ll be as successful as one-time reggae icon Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae sauce.

Gareth Gates’ coconut tea isn’t the only bizarre post-pop career choice. Here’s Loaded’s Top Five…


Bill Wyman’s metal detector

Already renowned as The Boring One in The Rolling Stones, once the bassist left the Stones Wyman played up to his image perfectly. Bill Wyman’s metal detector sounded like a spoof from Viz’s small ads. But, first launched in 2007, The Bill Wyman Signature Metal Detector is still going strong.



Big Boi’s dog breeding

Ever since Outkast split at the height of their Hey Ya fame, rapper Big Boi has been at a loose end. His solo career has gone downhill since 2010’s decent Sir Lucious Left Feet. Outkast reunited for a not-exactly-stellar comeback last year, by which time Big Boi had pretty much left music behind to concentrate on running his dog-breeding sanctuary, The Big Boi Kennel. Presumably his dogs are guaranteed to be so fresh, so clean.

Bill Wyman with his metal detector
This man was in The Rolling Stones


The Offspring’s hot sauce

Turn of the century buffoons The Offspring hit big with Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) at the height of post-Blink 182 pop-metal and just as quickly buggered off out of the charts again. They’re still going, but these days singer Dexter Holland is better known for his life away from big shorts and keychains. Not only is he a qualified flying instructor, but his hot sauce Gringo Bandito is every bit as successful in the States as Reggae Reggae is here.


Thomas Dolby’s ringtones

A respected synth boffin to 80s music fans, Dolby’s hits Hyperactive and She Blinded Me With Science ultimately led to him being David Bowie’s keyboard player at Live Aid. But Dolby then got lured into the early days of Silicon Valley – and invented the ringtone. Yep, that noise your first Nokia mobile made in the late ‘90s? That was Dolby. The first primitive ringtones that cost a fortune to download? That was Dolby. The guy made an absolute stack from ringtones. He was last seen living in a solid gold house wiping his arse with £50 notes.


Alex James’ cheese

Oh come on, everyone knows what matey from Blur does when he’s not knocking out Parklife at Hyde Park again. Nothing to see here.

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