Oct 262012

‘I’ve never known fear like I’ve felt on Strictly’: Nicky Byrne says singing to millions in Westlife was a cinch compared to dancing on TV

When Nicky Byrne was feeling miserable as sin following a verbal kicking from the BBC1 Strictly Come Dancing judges for an illegal lift during a waltz in his very first dance of the competition, dear old Sir Bruce Forsyth — bless him — went to seek him out backstage.

‘He was so encouraging,’ says Nicky, who’s more used to rapturous applause as one quarter of Westlife, one of the most successful boy bands in pop history. ‘He said: “Don’t let it get you down. It’s a journey. It’ll be fine — just work hard.” ’

Which Nicky did, practising all the hours God sends with Venezuelan partner Karen Hauer to perfect his cha cha cha for the following week’s show. ‘Nobody understands how nervous you are, going into that first night in front of ten or 11 million people,’ he says. ‘You’re being judged and you’re trying to remember steps in your head.

When we finished the waltz, I thought we did OK. I didn’t fall over or forget the routine. Then we stood there and got absolutely hammered.’

Craig Revel Horwood made such a fuss of the illegal lift you’d have thought they’d vandalised Strictly’s spray-tanning booth. They received a disappointing 17 points.

‘There was a part of me that thought: “This is week one. The judges are going to go hard.” OK, we did put an illegal lift in there and had we known it was as bad as it was going to be we wouldn’t have.

‘Anyway, I was raring to go with the cha cha cha to show what I could do. It’s a bit more me. There’s a lot of hip movement involved and a chance to have fun. The final rehearsal went great. I thought: “If I do that tonight I’m happy.” We were all set to go.’

But his cha cha cha was a disaster. Nicky and Karen hadn’t taken account of the noise of the applause. ‘The song starts with eight beats, during which I was supposed to do three big moves. But the crowd started clapping and I couldn’t hear the beats of the music. Not only that, but I was waiting for the clapping to stop. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 6:52 am
Oct 142012

By Eoin Murphy- The Daily Mail

A week after his savaging on Strictly Come Dancing, Nicky Byrne is bent on redemption. The problem, he claims, is that fans just don’t know the real him.

They don’t come much bigger than Nicky Byrne. With Westlife he has sold over 50 million albums, filled Croke Park four times and pocketed a personal fortune believed to be in excess of €10m. He is married to the daughter of one of the country’s most notorious politicians and his sons, Jay and Rocco, are rivalled only by Jedward as Ireland’s most famous twins. 

But for all that, for the past decade Nicky has lived in a showbiz bubble, insulated from public scrutiny and acerbic comment – until last weekend. After performing a waltz on Strictly Come Dancing with his American partner, Karen Hauer, Nicky received something that his ego hasn’t experienced in over a decade – an utter bruising

‘We had the waltz down to a tee last week in Dublin,’ he says. ‘Then I walked in for a run-through and I forgot it all as soon as I got on the floor. It’s very intimidating being on the Strictly set but Craig [judge Craig Revel Horwood] deemed the routine “poor” and the lift “illegal” and gave us a bit of a savaging.

‘I thought I went into it correctly and I got slated. I took all their comments on board. Obviously, they were very harsh for the first week. And we did an illegal lift and as a result we are right down at the bottom and, I suppose, rightly so. From then on, I decided I wasn’t going to give them a second chance to savage me like that again.’

The problem, Nicky complains, is that the judges and the general public don’t know the real him. To the 10 million BBC viewers, he is just one quarter of an ageing boyband.

‘Not everybody knows the cheeky performer that is Nicky Byrne,’ he laments. ‘The Westlife fans and the people who came to the live shows know that character. And I suppose, when I stepped out of the band and agreed to sign up to a show like Strictly, it was a chance for me to let all these people know who I really am. Because when we did shows, we sat on stools and we sang ballads. And I wasn’t the lead singer and, to the average person who wasn’t a Westlife fan, I was just some guy who was sitting at the end. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 8:20 am
Oct 072012

By Barry Moran – The Irish Sun

HUNKY singer Nicky Byrne admits life isn’t the same post Westlife — and hinted the legendary boyband could return.

The doting dad-of-two is finding his feet as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing after 14 chart-topping years with the hit group.

And busy Dubliner Nicky also made his TV presenting debut on Friday in RTE’s Football’s Next Star.

But he admits life outside the band is tough and said he’s still on “great terms” with the lads — so a future comeback could be on the cards.

He smiles: “I think all the lads are feeling a little strange. We’ve been together for 14 years so it’s going to be a bit bizarre.

“When you’re a part of something that takes up so much of your life, of course it’s going to take some getting used to when it ends.”

He adds: “It’s a big change and sometimes that hits you.

“This time last year, we were in South Africa, up a mountain, filming a video and watching Dublin win the All Ireland.

“This year I was sitting in my house on my own watching Donegal win.

“I kept thinking — last year I was on top of a mountain and now I’m here.” The sexy crooner adds: “It’s about growing up really. I do miss them but you’ve got to grow up. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 6:47 am
Oct 022012


DESPITE being a member of one of the most successful boy bands of all time, former Westlife star Nicky Byrne has admitted that he has absolutely no dancing skills.

No surprise really, given that the most complicated move the boys had to master was standing up during a key change.

“I’m well used to stools,” the Dubliner joked. Nicky is currently taking part in Strictly Come Dancing and admits that at times training can be a challenge. “When it comes to Strictly I have two left feet.”

The 33-year-old said that Strictly is one of the few reality TV shows he considered taking part in.

“I wouldn’t do any of the other reality TV shows” he told the Diary, “but Strictly is different.”


Nicky went on to say that he was drawn to the glitzy world of ballroom dancing for two very different reasons.

“I used to be a bit against the whole reality TV thing, but Strictly appealed because you actually learn something. You’re learning a new skill, a talent. You’re going into a whole new world so that was a big buzz for me.”

Wife Georgina Ahern also encouraged him to throw on the spandex pants, rhinestone shirts and learn how to quickstep.

“Georgina’s always been a big fan of the show, she’s watched it for a good few years. And she always said ‘you’d be alright on that. You should give it a bash.’ So there were a lot of positives. I’m loving the experience.” Continue reading »

 Posted by at 4:26 pm