Westlife star Shane Filan has shed insight into the band’s early days – including an alarming encounter with their boss Louis Walsh.
On Friday, the comeback kings, comprising Shane, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan and Nicky Byrne, sat down with Vernon Kay for a panel chat while launching their new album Wild Dreams and their upcoming stadium and arena tour.
During the candid chat, Shane, 42, revealed in the band’s early days Louis, 69, was left raging when he messed up an audition with pre-Pop Idol Simon Cowell – before also detailing Simon’s dressing room décor, comprising an engraved mirror.
The lads: Westlife star Shane Filan (third right) has shed insight into the band’s early days – including an alarming encounter with their boss Louis Walsh (second right, with Westlife and Ronan Keating in 1999)
Westlife, originally including Brian McFadden in their line-up, were formed when the members, bar Nicky, collaborated in school.
At Friday’s event they explained that Shane’s mother had managed to obtain Louis’ number and began hounding the music manager to help propel her son and his pal’s to stardom, before his interest was peaked from the west of Ireland group.
With Dublin-born Nicky then added to the line-up they managed to wangle an audition with Simon, yet a heavy night the previous evening meant that Shane’s typically impeccable vocals were thrown off.
He revealed Louis’ reaction: ‘I was hungover and messed up the audition and when we left Louis slapped me around the face and shouted at me’.
Uh oh: During the candid chat, Shane, 42, revealed in the band’s early days Louis, 69, was left raging when he messed up an audition with pre-Pop Idol Simon Cowell (pictured in 2002)
Shane previously spoke of the incident, revealing in 2014: ”We walked in and we met this man called Simon Cowell for the first time. It didn’t go well and Louis wasn’t very happy with me afterwards. He kind of lost it. He slapped me in the face…
‘It was crazy. He was shouting ‘what are you doing’ and he was shaking me and saying ‘I was counting on you in there. thought my life was over. I thought that’s it, I’ve ruined my life. It was horrible but he said ‘don’t worry, I’ve got a plan’.
The foursome then made a hilarious reveal about Simon, as they divulged details of his dressing room interiors.
They explained: ‘Simon actually has a mirror in his dressing room that has “Simon, you still look amazing” engraved on its frame’.
Looking good: On Friday, the comeback kings, comprising Shane, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan and Nicky Byrne, sat down with Vernon Kay for a panel chat while launching their new album Wild Dreams and their upcoming stadium and arena tour
Oh lord! He revealed Louis’ reaction: ‘I was hungover and messed up the audition and when we left Louis slapped me around the face and shouted at me’ (Westlife and Louis in 2002)
They explained that the mirror was a gift from Simon’s pal Sinitta.
Elsewhere, they also spoke about their bewilderment at their success, including receiving an invite to Puff Daddy’s birthday in LA and their duet with Mariah Carey.
The foursome explained that they managed to hide behind their ‘good boy’ persona despite some secret raucous behaviour behind the scenes.
Westlife soared to fame in 1998 when joined by Brian , who later left in 2004.
The group broke hearts of fans around the globe when they announced plans to disband in 2012 before all embarking on respective solo careers over the years before reuniting in 2019 with their hit Hello My Love.
Yes! Westlife are set to release the new single following their incredible performance at the Pride Of Britain Awards on Thursday
Earlier this year and last year, a number of the band’s planned tour dates were axed throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Yet last week, devotees were left delighted to hear the group are headed on the road next year on The Wild Dreams Tour, which will take them across the UK’s biggest arenas as well as a new album.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Kian, 41, said: ‘After the terrible 18 months we’ve all had, we’re giving this tour our all. I think it’ll be the best Westlife tour yet with some amazing surprises thrown in.’
Stunning: Yet last week, devotees were left delighted to hear the group are headed on the road next year on The Wild Dreams Tour, which will take them across the UK’s biggest arenas as well as a new album
The group have also released their epic new single My Hero following their incredible performance at the Pride Of Britain Awards last week.
The beloved foursome took to the stage at the award show on Saturday night for a performance which aired to millions on ITV on Thursday evening, as the band unveiled the track for release in conjunction with their tour tickets on Friday.
They delightedly revealed that My Hero, co-written by Ed Sheeran and Steve Mac, has ‘strong significance’ to them as they delighted in their chart return.
On tour! They have also unveiled their new album Wild Dreams
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