Westlife star followed his father’s footsteps into music

Westlife star followed his father's footsteps into music

Westlife star Nicky Byrne has spoken about the influence his late father had on him choosing a career in music.

The Dancing with the Stars host enjoyed a more than a decade at the top of the charts with his Irish bandmates in the boyband Westlife.

Westlife star followed his father's footsteps into music

He said: “My dad was a singer in a band. And I was used to seeing my dad go out gigging, he was a painter and decorator by trade but in evening times he was the lead singer in a cabaret band.

“So, he was going out gigging six or seven days a week and this was in the mid to late 80s, early 90s so I was used to seeing him going out dressed like this or in blue suits or red suits.

“The cabaret era was amazing at that time and I was only a child, so I think that showbiz side of me was there and then. I actually started hosting Karaoke with my dad when Leeds United had finished and I had come home.

“So, he was still in his band but on days when he wasn’t gigging, I was out gigging with him and we called it father and son karaoke and we were doing everything.

“So, we did that, and I think that’s where I kind of got the bug for it, so to speak.”

Byrne enjoyed great success as part of Westlife for more than a decade in the early 2000s.

However, he knew it wouldn’t last forever and was always planning the next step in his career.

He explained: “Westlife was incredible, but I was always a realist within Westlife and I always knew it would end and I didn’t know when.

“A lot of boybands when they get to the level that we got to; it usually ends after three to five years.

“Take That were five years the first time around, Boyzone were six or seven. We were getting to that stage where this might end.

“So, you’re always looking to go, ‘well what’s next, do you want to make solo record, do you want to act?’

“You can’t just go back and take on a nine to five, if you have to you will, but that doesn’t seem to be the easiest option for you. You’ve opened up doors, you’ve met people.

“I loved radio, away from Westlife, I would love radio and the routine of it all.

“And that’s where I went and people used to always say to me, ‘what about TV?’

“When you look at Dermot O’Leary on X Factor, you look at Ryan Seacrest on American Idol and different things, that was always where I felt I wanted to go.”

Byrne immediately got a taste of live television as he was invited to be a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing one year after Westlife hung up their microphones.

He quickly recognised it was an environment he was comfortable in and wanted to work in again.

He said: “With doing Strictly I guess completely threw me into this world and I knew exactly what was going on.

“I remember when Strictly ended for me, in that kind of few months afterwards I went to a production company and I said, ‘Is there any chance you could bring Strictly Come Dancing to Ireland? I’d love to host it.’

“I’m not going to mention the company, but I remember them going, ‘Ah yeah, we’ve looked at this before and it’s too expensive. You couldn’t do it’. And here we are.”

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