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13/12/2017 15:23 GMT

Louis Walsh Talks Westlife Reunion, And Why Brian McFadden Won't Be Back

'I prefer a happy band.'

Westlife manager Louis Walsh has confirmed the boyband will be reuniting in the new year, without one of its original members.

Brian McFadden (aka. The Artist Formerly Known As Bryan McFadden) will not be involved in the reunion tour, despite having expressed an interest in reforming with his former bandmates as recently as last year.

Brian Rasic via Getty Images
Arguably the most 90s photo to ever exist - Brian and his former bandmates back in 1999

Louis told The Sun: It will be the Fab Four. Totally. The four of them just see them themselves as Westlife.”

He added that there was no room for changing his mind where Brian is concerned, insisting: “I prefer a happy band and four happy people.”

Brian quit Westlife during the group’s heyday in 2004, and while many groups struggle to find their feet again after losing a key member, the Irish boyband went on to release a further six albums as a four-piece, all of which made at least the top three in the UK.

Brian Rasic via Getty Images
Louis looking his usual happy self with the Westlife boys in 2006

Westlife announced their split in October 2011, which preceded the release of a final Greatest Hits collection (remember those?) and one last tour.

Despite being something of a joke in the pop music scene, Westlife racked up a staggering 14 number one singles during their 14 years together, including an impressive run of seven chart-topping singles in a row, beginning with their debut ‘Swear It Again’.

Since their split, band members Shane Filan and Mark Feehily have made attempts at solo careers with varying levels of success.

Kian Egan was crowned King Of The Jungle following his stint in ‘I’m A Celebrity’ back in 2013, and has since gone on to appear as a coach on the Irish version of ‘The Voice’, which he did for the show’s entire five-series run.

Meanwhile, Nicky Byrne competed in ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ in 2012, and was announced as the host of the Irish equivalent, ‘Dancing With The Stars’, which aired for the first time earlier this year.

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