’Coronation Street’ fans may have been gripped by the storyline of Michelle Connor’s tragic still-birth, but long before her recent incarnation as soap star, Kym Marsh was making headlines with her abrupt departure from her band, Hear’Say.
15 years ago today, to be exact... after what she later described as a “series of disagreements” with her bandmates Myleene Klass and Noel Sullivan. How did they cope without her? By swiftly recruiting a new band member, former Boom! Johnny Shentall... for another few months at least, until they all went their separate ways the following October.
It wasn’t by any means the most traumatic band departure to send fans for their tissues. That honour belongs to... here’s our countdown of the top 5:
5. Brian McFadden’s departure from Westlife was announced in similarly funereal tones. In 2004, after six years with the band, the Irish singer explained, in slightly MP-esque fashion, that he wanted to “spend more time with his family”... oh, and solo projects. The band announced it would be business as usual without him, and so it proved. McFadden’s family soon split, and he disappeared to Australia with new girlfriend Delta Goodrem. Two years ago, there was talk of his return to his former band, rumours they quickly dispelled - “we’re a four-piece now.”
4. The following year saw the split of Busted, with Charlie Simpson’s announcement that he would be leaving the trio, to concentrate on another band Fightstar. Unlike Westlife, there was no business as usual to be conducted. You have to admire the concerted effort they make in this video to reject rumours that they didn’t get on..
3. Geri’s departure from the Spice Girls didn’t come in the form of a united press conference, but with a terse announcement from her lawyer, in which she admitted to “differences” with the others... She promised to be back, and so she was...
2. The only surprise about the Oasis split in 2009 was that the Gallagher brothers had lasted so long without swinging a guitar over each other’s head. But the split, when it came, was final, and these two, at least, have stuck by their word, both forming their own bands to chart and critical success, and showing no signs of giving in to sentiment or the lure of a big reunion pay-packet... thus far:
1. The honour for the most shocking split must surely go the Take That fans, who were left weeping and wailing in their millions following the news in 1996. The writing had been on the wall since charismatic clown Robbie Williams had departed the group the previous year, but it was still a big enough story for Radio 1 to break into their schedule with live coverage from the official press conference. And, if fans were upset enough to warrant special counselling telephone lines to be hastily set up, they could take comfort that Gary Barlow looked like he’d been punched in the stomach as well. Oh well, they only had to wait for a decade to see the band together once again, and a couple of years later, five familiar faces back on stage. So, all’s well that ends well... JLS fans, take heart.