Even though it’s still January, the countdown to this year’s instalment of Eurovision is on, with just four months to go until the competition starts in the Swedish city of Stockholm.
As the 43 participating countries finalise who they are to put forward to sing their hearts out, the Irish Mirror has reported claims have emerged former Westlife member Nicky Byrne is to step up to the microphone to represent Ireland.
A source told the publication the 37-year-old would take the stage at Stockholm’s Globe Arena in May. “Most people will be shocked as he was never the strongest singer in the band but he’s a great performer, he has good stage presence and he’s very likeable so who knows?” they said.
“It’s just crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s at this stage but Nicky looks set to following in Jedward’s footsteps and singing at the Eurovision.
“Shane and Mark have their record deals and their albums so maybe the Eurovision could relaunch Nicky’s pop career.”
In the days since the rumours have circulated, Independent.IE reported Byrne said he would “grab the opportunity with both hands”, but has refused to confirm or deny his involvement.
“If that opportunity arose for me, I would love it because I am very patriotic,” he said.
“If I didn’t feel I had a song that would be decent, you wouldn’t consider it. I’d represent my country in tiddliwinks if I got the opportunity,” he added.
Byrne also told Independent.IE he didn’t feel as if he had any kind of advantage over other singers in the content, but said he would be a confident candidate. “You’re halfway up the ladder in terms of people knowing who you are, but that’s not going make you run the show,” he said.
“But if you can get a song on top of that, you might do well.
“You’re not asking me to fight Conor McGregor. You’re asking me to do something that I’ve done all my life. “If I got the opportunity, I’d give it my best shot.”
Originally signed by Simon Cowell, Westlife’s original five members in addition to Byrne were Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, Shane Filan and Brian McFadden, who departed the band in 2004.
The group had a string of hits throughout the late nineties and noughties, including You Raise Me Up, Uptown Girl, Swear It Again and Miss You.
Since the remaining band members split back in 2012, Byrne has been presenting his own morning show The Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene on 2fm.