Westlife have hung up their mics after 14 years as one of the biggest boybands in the world. Here Shane Filan, Nicky Byrne, Mark Feehily and Kian Egan discuss their break-up, legacy, and future careers.
SO WHY HAVE YOU DECIDED TO CALL IT A DAY?
YOU’VE HAD SO MANY CAREER HIGHLIGHTS.
YOU MUST FEEL LIKE YOU’RE LEAVING BEHIND A LEGACY.
WHAT’S LOUIS WALSH LIKE?
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER WESTLIFE?
WOULD YOU CONSIDER BECOMING TALENT SHOW JUDGES?
HOW ABOUT ACTING?
WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE YOUR KIDS TO BECOME POP STARS?
WILL YOU REMAIN GOOD FRIENDS?
WOULD YOU RULE OUT A REUNION?
HAVE YOU A FINAL MESSAGE FOR YOUR FANS?
Westlife: The Farewell Tour is out on DVD now
It’s hard to think about dancing sexy when you’re counting steps and there’s a camera on you
POP hunk Nicky Byrne has said there is no chance of him becoming a Strictly love cheat — because he’s too busy trying to remember his dance steps!
The happily-married singer, 34, is finding his feet on the hit BBC show — his first big gig since Westlife called it a day earlier this year.
And the dad-of-two revealed his gorgeous wife Georgina — who he married in 2003 — isn’t jealous of his sizzling dancing routines with pro partner Karen Hauer.
While Strictly Come Dancing has a history of relationships between the pros and the celebrities, Nicky insisted that’s not an issue for the loved-up couple, who met when they were teenagers.
He said: “Over the years there’s been plenty (of off-screen relationships on Strictly). But if you thought like that or were in that position, you wouldn’t do the show.
“That goes for everybody. But Georgina’s been brilliant. I have to say she’s a great support.
“I suppose it’s hard to be thinking like that (about sexy dancing) when you’re counting steps and there’s a camera on you — and Karen’s boyfriend is sitting in the room as well.”
Nicky was in the bottom two on last weekend’s show but was saved from elimination by the judges.
And he revealed how his surprise at how nerve-wracking he finds dancing for such a huge TV audience of each week — despite being part of a stadium-jamming band for so long.
He said: “The nerves got to me, not just for dancing.
“It’s that it was something new, I was on my own. It’s getting 12 million viewers in the UK. I think everything just came to me.
“I wouldn’t have been a bad dancer in Westlife — it was learning the technical side of things and then getting criticised.
“I didn’t think that would bother me.
“You look at these shows and see people crying and you think, ‘Get over yourself for God’s sake’.
“And then you get there and you’ve worked all week to do it and the judge lambasts you and you think, ‘Was I that bad?’.”
As well as struggling with criticism, Nicky admitted that he’s also not a fan of getting bronzed up ahead of each week’s show.
He smiled: “The funny thing is you have to get fake tan. I ran out of the building on week one and I didn’t get it, but the second week they ran after me and said, ‘Irish tan isn’t looking too good!’.
“It takes over your life while you’re on it but it’s such a small amount of time when you look back.
“You just have to throw yourself into it.”
Nicky was one of the Westlifers who wasn’t in favour of the band splitting when the idea was first floated with his lifelong pop buddies.
But now the star says he is glad they called it a day — because he’s free to throw himself into his TV work.
He presented Football’s Next Star for RTE and had a turn as an undercover Garda on Jason Byrne’s Anonymous, left, before the Strictly offer came his way — one he said he had no hesitation in taking.
He said: “There was a lot of things bouncing around my head and Strictly was something that wouldn’t go away.
“I remember in 2005 or 2006 talking to Georgina about it and she said, ‘You have to do that show, you’d love it’.
“It became a reality then, when Westlife went. It’s a massive show and it’s a show people want to do.
“It’s not like an ex-popstar going into the jungle for I’m A Celeb or Big Brother — none of those would interest me. Strictly has a bit of pizzazz about it and people love it.” Westlife were one of the most successful boybands of all time — selling an incredible 40 million albums. But being a popstar wasn’t initially part of the plan for the Dubliner — he said he fell into it while waiting to be accepted into the Gardai.
Nicky told the Ray D’Arcy Show on Today FM: “I left home at 16 and I was signed for Leeds United — at 16, you think you’re grown up and you can take on the world. I was with Leeds for a few years.
“Then I came home for about 10 months and repeated my Leaving Cert so I could become a guard. I did the aptitude test, I got that and was waiting to be called for a medical — then Westlife came and I went for this audition.”
The charismatic star admitted he thinks his future is in TV and radio — and his Strictly turn will certainly help get him in front of the UK’s leading industry figures.
But that doesn’t mean he’s ruled out a return to the stage with Shane, Mark and Kian in the future.
He revealed that the good relations between the Westlife lads means that a reunion could be possible at some point further down the line.
He said: “It’s far too early to consider it. We finished on a high.
“Girls Aloud were away for three years and they’re coming back. Give it six months and we can talk!
“But we all needed to go away and breathe. At the beginning of conversations I was the least wanting to let it go.
“But in hindsight, we did it at the right time and in the right way — it was probably the best decision.”
Westlife’s Kian Egan says Christopher Maloney doesn’t deserve to still be in The X Factor.
The singer-turned-TV presenter, who has appeared on The Xtra Factor panel and is a coach on The Voice Of Ireland, has stood up for the 34-year-old contestant in the past, but admits his talent doesn’t match that of Ella Henderson, who was booted off last week.
Kian said: “I don’t think Christopher should still be there, over the likes of Ella. I’ve stood up for Christopher an awful lot, because I do think he’s been getting a very, very hard time.
“But the reality is, I don’t think we’ll hear of Christopher in another year’s time, where as I do think we’ll be watching Rylan on a regular basis.
“I think Rylan deserves to still be there, obviously he’s not the best singer on there, but he’s different, he’s new and he’s entertaining.”
Kian insisted The Voice and The X Factor are very different, but admitted The Voice needs to produce a star to properly establish itself.
He said: “Having been part of both now, I think they’re actually two very different types of show.
“I think The Voice is extremely focused on a vocal performance. I think The X Factor is a lot more than that – it is about an entertainer. Even though most of the people on The X Factor are amazing voices, it gives people with big personalities like Rylan an opportunity to get noticed.
“Where as The Voice, you don’t get to meet characters, it’s about people who can stand up and sing a song.
“The X Factor is such an amazing platform, and so far we haven’t seen The Voice produce a successful singing artist yet. So I think that’s extremely necessary for The Voice.”
Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer think being in the bottom two on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ was the “best thing” that could have happened to them.
The former Westlife star and his professional dance partner went from a low score two weeks ago to their personal best of 36 at the weekend, and the pair think their previous poor feedback gave them the “fire” to work harder.
Karen said: “Being in the bottom two was the worst thing that could have ever happened but it really was the best thing for us because it gave us even more oomph and more fire and so when we went into that studio it really was ‘work, work, work’ with not that many breaks.”
This weekend, the pair will tackle the Argentine tango and after watching the feedback Michael Vaughan and his partner Natalie Lowe received for their version of the dance last week, they have taken the critique on board and are hopeful they can do better with theirs.
Speaking on spin-off show ‘Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two’, Nicky said: “It’s going well. I watched Vaughny at the weekend and listened to what the judges said to him, they felt he didn’t deliver or tell the story of the dance, but what has been my strong point so far is the character, what with the mask and the tango, so I think with this it’s about really delivering the performance.”
Kian Egan has said he is not worried about being the Mr Nasty of The Voice of Ireland as long as he is being honest.
The former Westlife singer is a coach on the Irish version of the singing talent show and last series drew some criticism for being too critical of contestants, so he turned to former Westlife manager and X Factor judge Louis Walsh for advice.
But Kian said: “I think it’s unfair to tell people that they’re amazing, if it wasn’t. At one or two points I became Mr Nasty on the show last year and I said to Louis, ‘I don’t know what to do about this.’
“And Louis said ‘You’re doing something right, because people are talking about you, whether it’s because you’re Mr Nasty or Mr Nice, it doesn’t matter, because you’re in there doing what you’re supposed to be doing, and that’s critiquing these people’.”
Kian said he could be nice to contestants just to be popular.
He said: “I always had the opinion I was going to go on there and be extremely honest and tell people exactly what I thought, and not worry about my reputation as an individual.
“I think on the show we had an awful lot of that, people not being 100 per cent honest because they were afraid of what the public might think of them and I wanted to be the one to say what people were thinking, rather than just sit there and tell everybody that they were great.”
Kian has been a co-hosting the new series of Surprise, Surprise with Holly Willoughby.
He said: “Having that type of a show back on the telly is a really positive thing and it’s great to be a part of that.”
The last episode of Surprise, Surprise airs on ITV at 7pm on Saturday November 24 2012.
Credit/Source: Official Westlife Newsletter
Nicky and Karen will be dancing to Jive tonight at Wembley Arena!! All fans in the UK remember that noone is safe and as weeks go by Nicky needs more and more votes to keep him in the competition. BEST LUCK Team Kanicky!
Here is last week’s Foxtrot, which gave them their biggest score so far.
Strictly Come Dancing Live – BBC One [10.November.2012] – Week 6
Strictly Come Dancing Results – BBC One [11.November.2012] – Week 6
Credit/Source: BBC One / NickyByrne.Info
THE Westlife singer has said his wife is constantly joking that his fake tan from the BBC dancing show is darker than hers.
THE wife of Strictly Come Dancing hunk Nicky Byrne has been keeping very close tabs on her husband. But not because Georgina, daughter of former Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, is worried the Westlife star is getting too close to dance partner Karen Hauer.
Nicky, 34, laughed and said: “My wife is loving it and taking the mickey out of me.
“She says she constantly has to watch that my fake tan isn’t as dark as hers. When your wife is saying that you know you’ve got to be careful.”
Of course, Nicky is best known for massive-selling boyband Westlife, who called time after 14 years together in June.
During their time at the top, as well as 14 No 1 singles they also performed 27 sell-out shows at Wembley Arena in 10 years, shifting 250,000 tickets and making them the venue’s most successful pop band.
They sang one song at the venue for last year’s X Factor final and tonight Nicky is back – but this time he’s dancing.
And there’s no stools.
Laughing again, Nicky said: “Never say never. There’s been talk of using a Westlife song and incorporating one of them into a routine. I don’t think it’s a bad idea. I’m up for it.”
For those of you who don’t know Westlife, they became well known for sitting on stools singing one of their ballads.
Tonight, though, Nicky and Karen will be doing a jive to Elvis’s Jailhouse Rock in front of a live audience of 6000 people.
And Nicky can’t wait to set foot on the Wembley stage again – although he insists it will be very, very different to what he’s used to.
He said: “I’m absolutely buzzing that I made it to Wembley, but there’s so much pressure.
“I don’t want to get to Wembley, with all the history I have of it, and the dance to be a disaster. And I am nervous every single time I’ve got out on that Strictly stage.
“I get the fact I should have the upper hand because I’m used to crowds, but Strictly is such an enclosed environment. You’re counting. You’re trying to remember your moves and you don’t want to mess up.”
Of course, being on Strictly won’t be the same as singing to thousands of Westlife fans, but backstage Nicky will very comfortable.
He grinned and added: “It will feel like a bit of a homecoming backstage, walking around the corridors and going into the dressing rooms.
“But in terms of going out performing, it’s completely different.
“Wembley has always been really good for Westlife.
“In 2006 we got to put our hands in concrete outside the main entrance because of all the shows we’ve played, which is really, really cool.
“From the day we did it I’ve never been back to see it, so I’m looking forward to that.”
As far as he knows, none of his former Westlife buddies will be at Wembley, although Shane Filan and his wife were in the audience last Saturday.
And he won’t be expecting his former manager Louis Walsh who is, of course, a judge on rival show The X Factor – although there will be some banter on the phone.
Nicky said: “Thankfully I’m on the show that’s winning the ratings war, which is always the place you want to be.
“Maybe if Louis leaves The X Factor he can do Strictly next year.
“I’d love to see him doing a foxtrot. That would be interesting.”
Always a nice guy, Nicky wouldn’t stick the boot in about Strictly beating The X Factor by an incredible two million viewers last weekend.
He said: “The X Factor is still a big show. It hasn’t had its best year ratings-wise.”
However, he does have an idea why viewers are flocking to Strictly.
He said: “People love to see other people being challenged and if it’s well-known people it has a bit more edge.
“You want someone that you know well for something else, trying something
“And I think the dancing quality this year is higher than it has been for a number of years.”
Nicky burst out laughing and added: “Which hasn’t worked in my favour because there are some brilliant dancers.” It’s true Nicky hasn’t been at the top of the leaderboard with Denise Van Outen or Olympian Louis Smith, but he hasn’t been in the bottom two like Kimberley Walsh was last week.
Westlife fans are keeping voting and he’s doing enough for many of you to want to see him back.
But he’s determined to catch up with the leaders.
He said: “I don’t want to be making up the numbers.
“I want to go as far as I can in the competition and when I walk away on that unfortunate day I want to be thinking I’ve really learned something.”
Despite the thrill of No 1s and touring the world, Nicky admitted Strictly has completely blown him away.
He said: “It’s the best show on television.
“It’s changed my life.
“I’m going to the ballroom world championships next,” he joked.
“Having done the same thing with Westlife for so long, it’s been a challenge.
“But now I feel the world is my oyster, I can do what I like.
“Right now I feel I have no regrets. I want to put everything I have into the show and then see what is next, with presenting on the telly and radio and acting, hopefully down the road.”
Although he’s always been fit, Nicky has found it hard to keep changing posture for the different styles of dancing and describes the mental side, remembering the moves, as a “brain fuzz”.
Although he is one of the nicest guys in pop, he even revealed he sometimes kicks over bottles of water in training out of aggression.
He couldn’t even go to his beloved Celtic’s game with Barcelona, in which they beat them 2-1. He was glued to the television and admitted that if he’d been next to Rod Stewart, who burst into tears after the second goal, he’d have been “bawling and hugging him, too”.
Dance partner Karen has been patient with him and is also finding her feet, given this is her first year on the show, so she is still working out what content the judges like.
At the beginning of the show, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli both hit out at their performance, which included an illegal lift.
Bruno told Karen: “It looked like you were dancing with a cardboard cut-out.”
Nicky, father of twin boys Jay and Rocco, five, said: “I can take it on the chin but one of the boys had tears in his eyes when I was getting ripped apart.
“They don’t want to see daddy getting criticised. But they are loving it. Every Sunday they tell me my scores.”
Since then, Dublin-born Nicky has been getting better and better.
But he knows it can change in an instant, pointing out that Kimberley Walsh found herself in the bottom two last week.
He said: “In my eyes she is one of the favourites to win and I was shocked she was in the bottom two.
“It just goes to show how important that public vote is, because she scored really well with the judges.
“So thank you for voting for me and keep it up if you can.
“Please keep me in there.”
Strictly Come Dancing is on tonight, BBC1, 6.30pm.
By NADIA BROOKS
WESTLIFE star Kian Egan wants to be an X Factor judge – but not at Louis Walsh’s expense.
Following the demise of the Irish boyband, who were managed by Louis, Kian has carved out a career as a telly presenter and is currently on ITV1’s Surprise Surprise with Holly Willoughby.
But the singer — who has previously hosted The Xtra Factor on ITV2 — says he’d really love to sit on The X Factor panel.
And with the show’s ratings under pressure — it pulled in an average of 8.4million viewers on Saturday compared with 12.3million at the same time last year — a shake-up could be on the cards for the next series.
Kian said: “Being on The X Factor judging panel would be an amazing gig and something I would thoroughly enjoy.
“I would hate to replace Louis Walsh. That would never be my intention.”
He continued: “It’s an amazing TV show and a great one to be a part of.
“I certainly feel that since The X Factor started I’ve been around it and in it an awful lot.
“I did the judges homes with Louis, presented The Xtra Factor a few times and this will be the first series of the main X Factor show that Westlife don’t perform on.
“We really have had an amazing time on The X Factor over the years so it would be great for that to continue.”
Kian and his wife — former Hollyoaks star Jodi Albert — avidly watch the show and want James Arthur to win.
“James is definitely outstanding,” Kian said.
“I think he’s probably one of the most unique artists that’s been on so far and I really think he deserves to win the show.
“He’s a young, cool, contemporary artist — probably the most contemporary that they have had for a long time, so it’d be good to see him win it.
“There are some other good people on there. I think Ella Henderson started off very strong and Rylan’s brilliant.
“He’s a lovely guy. I did a lot of work with him on the ITV2 show.
“I don’t think there’s ever been anybody like him on this show, so he deserves to be there — even if he isn’t one of the best singers in the world.”
It made me smile seeing that Shane and Gillian will be attending tonight’s Strictly Come Dancing in support to Nicky. Fingers crossed we can catch a glimps of them in the audience too! Best luck to Nicky and Karen! KEEP VOTING like loons Lifers!!!!
Nicky Byrne has admitted that he is loving his new physique thanks to Strictly Come Dancing.
The former Westlife singer has made it through to perform on his sixth show this weekend, and has been training incessantly ever since he joined the lineup in September.
The rehearsals, the practice sessions and the constant cardio exercise has improved the hunk’s fitness and helped him get more toned and he told Reveal magazine:
“I’m in pretty good shape at the minute.”
“It’s a different type of workout to my usual but it’s done wonders for my buttocks. I’m certainly not complaining.”
Nicky and his Westlife bandmates went their separate ways earlier this year however they are all still close and Byrne said that he’s hoping the lads will be coming down to a live show sometime very soon.
He said: “Shane Filan was meant to come down last week but something came up. But they’ll definitely be there at some point, I just hope they can all come on the same night.”
They may not be ever present but Shane, Kian and co have been offering Nicky some advice, telling him to make the most of the experience, don the sequins and get spray tanned to the extreme.
He continued: “Westlife tell me to embrace the sequins and being tangoed, so I’m trying. I refused to wear fake tan in week one but they told me I was too pasty, so after that it was forced on me”
Nicky and his professional partner Karen performed a rumba last weekend and though fans seemed to think it went well and three out of four judges gave him quite positive comments, Craig Revel Horwood commented that it felt like “a series of presentations”, he also made the old complaint about more dance content.
The singer tweeted his fans, thanking them for their support and admitting that he hopes the sharp tongued panellist is in a better mood this Saturday.
Nicky wrote: “Thanks again folks,Get in.! Delighted I’m back again next week to Foxtrot! Hopefully @CraigRevHorwood hasnt got a grumpy head on him again
I’ve learned to have a thick skin;
What have you enjoyed the most about Strictly?
Were you pleased to be paired with Karen Hauer?
You had a couple of bad weeks to start, how did that make you feel?
How have you found the judges’ criticism?
Is the Strictly training schedule a shock to the system?
How do you keep fit normally?
Who do you think will win Strictly this year?
What have you found more challenging, performing in front of thousands of fans with Westlife or dancing on Strictly?
Do you keep in touch with all of your old mates from Westlife?
Is there a Westlife reunion on the cards?
Do you see your family more now or has the Strictly training got in the way?
What did your boys think about seeing you on the show?
Are their any signs of them following in your football, singing or dancing footsteps?
What have you got coming up next?
Credit/Source: Sunday People