Ronan Keating has said 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 with a new album out on Friday.
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 earlier this month, 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.”
Talking about his new album, Time Of My Life, Keating said: “It’s a massive departure from anything I’ve done before. So much heart and soul in this album.”
He said his inspiration was growing up in the Irish capital, his life in Boyzone, and his relationship with his wife, Australian TV executive Storm Keating.
Speaking about how he has spent the majority of his life and career pleasing everyone else, he said: “I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s Catholic Ireland or something, but we were all about doing everything for everybody else.
“We were reared, anyway, that way. And for me, you know, 16 and I joined a band and we were told what to do, and we were given a direction and that was it.”
He added: “It was kind of ingrained into me. I think we all were a bit like that coming out of Ireland like that. Naive, and very much pleasers, yeah, trying to please people, rather than please ourselves.”
Reflecting on how he has changed in this respect, he said: “I feel very liberated and I feel very free to write and say what I want to say.”
:: Time Of My Life is released on Friday.