Irish heart-throb Shane Filan talks to Now about life after Westlife and his thoughts on Nick Grimshaw replacing Louis Walsh

Shane Filan, 36, may be no stranger to fame as part of Westlife and more recently a solo artist, but he’s faced his fair share of tough times. After racking up £18 million in debt due to a disastrous property investment, he was declared bankrupt in 2012 – something he describes as ‘horrible, hideous and humiliating’. Thankfully now the family man, who has three children with wife Gillian – Nicole, 10, Patrick, seven, and Shane, five – has plenty to smile about…

 

Hi Shane! Are you watching The X Factor and Strictly?

Strictly’s always a great show. Just the glitz of it all is amazing.

Could you ever be tempted to put on the sequins?

Genuinely, it wouldn’t interest me at all. I get offered every single one of them – and Big Brother and I’m A Celebrity – Get Me Out Of Here!

What about being a talent show judge?

It’s a big role to step into but it’s an incredible gig. If you got offered it, it would be difficult to say no, put it that way. I don’t know how good I would be at it.

What do you think about Nick Grimshaw replacing your former manager Louis Walsh on The X Factor?

He’ll never be the same as Louis. They’re big shoes to fill. Like Louis says: ‘I’m just being honest.’ That would be his line all of the time.

Do you still speak to Louis?

I text him every other day. If he gets excited about a song or something, he’ll send it on or text: ‘Read the email I sent you.’ He might text me something funny or a bit of gossip.

Did he help you after you were declared bankrupt in 2012?

Louis was very optimistic about my future as a singer. Gillian kept me positive and reminded me I have healthy, beautiful children. I started again basically.

Your new album’s out next week – what’s your favourite track?

Me And The Moon is a great song because it could be about losing somebody that’s close to your or even just missing somebody. I’m not in that position, but I’m away a lot from my family and Gillian.

You must miss them loads…

It’s hard being away from someone. When you’ve got kids, I find it heartbreaking. It’s the hardest part about being in the industry and just being solo. It’s different being in a band – the time goes quicker.

Are you still in touch with your Westlife bandmates?

Very rarely. We’ve drifted apart without a doubt, but not in a bad way. We haven’t even met up for a drink. People think if you’re in a band, you’re best friends no matter what.

What do your kids think of your music?

They absolutely love it. I play my albums– obviously not all the time, but they’ll go: ‘Play the one that goes…’ and they’ll sing a little bit of it. It’s so cute.

Would you like more children?

It’s not really up to me [laughs]. Some of Gillian’s friends are having babies now so maybe she could be broody. Having a kid is a blessing. I wouldn’t say no, but I’m very happy having three.

Right Here is released on 25 September