FORMER Westlife star Nicky Byrne is back in the studio.
But instead of recording boyband ballads, he will be filling in for 2fm’s Ryan Tubridy. Nicky will front Ryan’s radio show on May 29 when the big man celebrates his 40th birthday.
2fm had planned to announce the news early next week, but their plans were dashed when outspoken music mogul Louis Walsh spilled the beans live on air.
Louis was appearing on Colm Hayes’ radio show to talk about his own upcoming stint on the station. Louis will host a special three-hour ‘oldies show’ on the June bank holiday Monday. But before long he started talking about Nicky’s hush-hush gig.
“You know Nicky’s coming? Nicky Byrne, he’s starting here in a few weeks time. You know that?” the X Factor judge asked Colm.
But presenter Colm appeared surprised, saying on air: “Why did you do this? We told you before you came you were not to mention Nicky Byrne.”
“But he’s in Westlife,” Louis replied. “And he’s going to be in for just one day.”
“Colm, your job’s safe,” he said. “Don’t worry, and he’s just doing Ryan’s job for one day.”
Colm told listeners this information “hadn’t been released yet”.
“Well it is now!” Louis shouted. “Nicky Byrne is doing 2fm for Ryan!”
And dad-of-two Nicky said he is delighted: “I really didn’t have to be asked twice when 2fm approached me to fill in on Tubridy,” he said.
“It’s massive boots to fill and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
Former Westlife star Nicky Byrne says he’s happy to put his music career on hold — and is now looking for a high-profile presenting role.
The Dubliner appeared in hit BBC show Strictly Come Dancing after Westlife split last summer, and he revealed that he’s giving music a break.
“I’m happy to give it a rest for a while,” Nicky (34) said.
“I’m a driven and ambitious person and I know I can’t beat what I did in Westlife.
“I’ve no interest in becoming the next big solo star. For me, that’s not the right thing to do.”
Instead, he’s hoping to be on prime time TV — and while he’s had small projects in the past, he’s now “having the right meetings with the right people”.
Speaking at the re-opening of the Morrison Hotel in Dublin — also attended by Kathryn Thomas, Nadia Forde and the Dublin Wives — Nicky explained: “Dermot O’Leary, Ryan Seacrest, Ant and Dec, Vernon Kay — there’s a lot of scope in that field.
“I’d love to present a big Saturday night entertainment show — that would be ideal.”
Nicky also revealed that he’s in talks with both RTE and BBC to present a radio show.
He is also considering a role in the West End — with offers of musicals flooding in after his raised profile in the UK.