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Westlife can't get any more famous. They've had ten number one
singles, sold 12 million albums worldwide and are adored and reviled
by millions.

Their fans know every intimate detail about their lives - including
Bryan McFadden's recently exposed infidelity with a lapdancer.

Whether you love them, hate them or just don't care, you just can't
escape their songs on the radio.

They've even started singing in Spanish for their Latino fans, and
are planning an assault on the USA later this year.

It all makes the title of their last single World Of Our Own a bit
sinister. Global domination is the only place left for them to go -
apart from post-boyband oblivion, that is.

World Of Our Own was annoyingly catchy. And annoying is a word often
applied to the group who started out as five ordinary "Irish" lads.

Perhaps it's the same overexposure that has recently turned the
press and public against the likes of Jamie Oliver.

But when you're barely out of your teens and worth millions, does a
bit of harsh criticism or mickey taking really matter?

Not in the slightest, according to 22-year-old Kian Egan, who spared
a few minutes between costume fittings and TV interviews to speak to

The band had spent four days on the run in the wake of the expose on
Brian and Kerry's marriage.

But a reluctant Kian eventually gave us a call.

He wouldn't talk about Bryan, but when asked about how Westlife
handle the more negative attentions of the press, he said: "We can
deal with the press and the comments now - people can say what they
like about us, we don't care.

"It's only when it intrudes on our personal lives that any of us

Bryan's personal life was an area into which Kian didn't want to
delve, but it's fair to say that the boys must be aware of the pain
caused to Kerry McFadden.

She flew home last week from filming to try and sort through the
wreckage of her marriage, devastated that her husband was
unfaithful - on his stag night.

Lapdancer Amy Barker kissed and told, but the matter simply wasn't
up for discussion.

Kian Egan has come off relatively lightly, and must be breathing a
sigh of relief as a result.

"I'm not really dating at all at the moment, just having a laugh and
getting on with being in the band."

At the moment the band are touring, releasing their next single Bop
Bop Baby and getting ready to take on America.

Naomi Campbell was supposed to appear in the video for the single,
but in typical supermodel style pulled out at the last minute.

Kian says: "We're happy she didn't do it in the end because she
wouldn't have agreed to half the things we had Vinnie Jones doing.

"She left us in a bit of a hole for a moment, but we got out of it."

Being in Westlife can mean that your personality gets somewhat
molded to suit the image-makers.

Until recently, Bryan was the loving "family man". Kian, meanwhile,
has a reputation as a "party animal" to maintain.

It's true that he likes to throw himself out of hotel windows. In
fact he's a bit of a daredevil, he reckons.

"I like my extreme sports," he says.

"In the shows I do midair somersaults, which gives me a buzz, and I
like to do snowboarding and stuff."

But do the management really allow their boys to indulge in such
dangerous activities? "You know, people are always going on about
what we are and aren't allowed to do," Kian moans.

"We are people in our own right and no one makes decisions for us,
although we do take advice."

It has recently been said that Westlife have been "advised" not to
get engaged or have children for a very long time.

Bryan and Kerry recently had a baby daughter Molly.

It finished her career as an Atomic Kitten, and after the latest
trauma Westlife's management is reportedly twitchy about any other
of their boys following suit.

Kian isn't ready to settle down anyway, but he must surely want his
life back sometimes.

"We've grown up fast going straight into our careers at 17, but we
adapt our lives to it. I still see my family and friends and feel
rooted in myself.

"My mum still tells me off when I go home, and I enjoy the simple
things in life."

But with the imminent arrival of a Greatest Hits album, could this
be the beginning of the end?

"It's not a Greatest Hits album," Kian insists adding what sounds
like a well-rehearsed assertion.

"It's going to be Westlife, The Story So Far, because we are so far
from the end.

"It's not even crossed our minds to split up.

"We wouldn't be trying to break America if that were the case now,
would we?

"But the record company said that as we'd had so many hits, we
should put an album together."

Band manager Louis Walsh was said to have declared last year that
only Bryan and Shane had futures as solo artists. A bit of a slap in
the face for Kian. But he is pragmatic about the future.

"Everyone says you should do this, do that, do acting, managing, a
solo career, but with going solo I don't know if I could do it all
over again.

"I mean it can be lonely, and I'd want something with a lot of
people around me, something creative."

Whatever the plans for the future, Kian is so loaded that his
children, should he eventually be allowed to procreate, will never
go hungry.

A Internet search on "Westlife" brings up 305,000 hits.

The sheer volume of information on Simon Cowell's biggest discovery
verges on the ridiculous.

And you can bet your average 14-year-old girl will know more about
Kian, Mark, Bryan, Shane and Nicky than she will about core subjects
at school.

She'll know that Kian recently stopped dying his hair, but Bryan
dyed his hair brown.

She'll know that Bryan and Nicky can both bark like dogs, that Mark
loves Mariah Carey and Kian's cousin is dating Shane.

And of course, she will be pretty shocked at Bryan's behaviour, and
may well have decided that one of the others is now her favourite.

Controversy aside, for the boys behind the names it's business as
usual, performing sellout shows to screaming girls and occasionally
getting into scraps or having affairs.

It's not a bad life, Kian agrees.

But surely even he knows that all good things have to come to an end.


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