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Westlife and Boyzone to form ‘Boyzlife' mega-group

Boyzone including the late Stephen Gately (second from right) on stage at Belfast's Odyssey Arena during their 2008 comeback tour. Picture by Colm O'Reilly
Claire Simpson and Press Association

IRISH boy bands Boyzone and Westlife are merge to create pop supergroup Boyzlife.

The band plans to tour with nine members, including the surprise addition of former Westlife member Brian McFadden who left the group in 2004.

McFadden and Boyzone member Keith Duffy said the new group are to embark on a 12-date tour of the UK and Ireland which begins in London in October.

Boyzone have had several comeback tours since they split in 1999. Westlife disbanded in 2012.

Meanwhile, Ronan Keating said in February it would be "fun" for Boyzone to team up with Westlife to form a supergroup.

The 38-year-old singer from Dublin said he would "never say never" but he is currently concentrating on his solo music.

Keating said Boyzone will do something to mark the band's 25th birthday next year - describing it as a "Boyzone extravaganza".

Asked about the idea of the band teaming up with fellow Irishmen Westlife in the way Busted and McFly formed McBusted, he told the Press Association: "The idea's been thrown around alright. Different collaborations.

"Not just Westlife, but Girls Aloud and lots of different collaborations. I don't know. Maybe, maybe. Never say never to those sort of things. We'll see. Not right now, but maybe, maybe we would. It'd be cool fun I think to do something like that, definitely."

And in February, Keating's fellow band member Shane Lynch tweeted a picture of Boyzone and Westlife, and wrote: "BOYZONE & WESTLIFE i guess this is kinda what the press conference would look like if £Ireland joins forces."

In October, Lynch tweeted pictures of the two bands - the Boyzone photo included the late Stephen Gately - with the caption: "Although it can't quite be this line-up.. MABE IT'S TIME we Irish joined forces and take back the world.. £BIG."

Keating is going on a globe-trotting tour this year, stopping off at venues in the UK and Ireland, and he admitted he sometimes misses his Boyzone bandmates.

"I miss the lads at times, definitely," he said, adding: "Next year marks our 25 years so we'll do something next year, please God."

Pushed for details, Keating said: "We're not really sure yet. I mean, we're looking at different ideas whether it's an album or a tour, or what it's going to be, but we'll definitely mark it somehow and it'll be a Boyzone extravaganza as per usual."

One of Boyzone's first public appearances was on Irish station RTE's The Late Late Show and the clip has been viewed thousands of times due to the band's performance which saw them dance enthusiastically after an introduction by bemused host Gay Byrne.

Keating, who said he last watched the clip two or three months ago, said: "Holy moly. Hideous. I still cringe every time I watch it."

But he added: "It made us what we are. It made us strong. And you've got to laugh at yourself. Christ, everyone else is."

 :: Boyzlife play the Hilton Hotel in Belfast on Monday, October 31.

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