Echoing the career path of Ant & Dec, Pop Idol contestants Sam & Mark teamed up for a brief attempt at chart stardom before becoming a well-loved children's television double act. Sam Nixon, born in Barnsley in 1986 and Mark Rhodes, born in Walsall in 1981, finished third and second respectively in the second and final U.K. series of Pop Idol in 2003, behind Scottish vocalist Michelle McManus. The friendship they formed during the show led to a deal as a duo with Universal and in early 2004, they scored a number one hit with their cover version of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends." Following the disappointing number 19 chart position of their follow-up "The Sun Has Come Your Way," the pair were dropped by their label, but thanks to their natural chemistry and cheeky sense of humor, they were asked by BBC bosses to co-host a Saturday morning music series, Top of the Pops: Reloaded, a role they fulfilled until the show ended in 2006. Its replacement, TMI, was a magazine program specifically created for the pair, and its success resulted in them becoming the BBC's flagship children's TV presenters. In addition to their TV career, they also present a show on radio station BRMB, while Sam is the lead singer of indie pop band Mason.
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