When you get a spectacularly popular boyband like Westlife who, incidentally, also happen to be (mostly) squeaky-clean, there’s not much the media can do but jump all over them. There have been a hundred different rumours, scandals, and flat out lies printed in the media over the last six years, ranging from the true, to the vague, to the blatantly false, to the just plain weird.
And here’s my list of the best ones.
6. Westlife Smoke.
Westlife have been seen *gasp!* smoking in public! Oh, what terrible role models they are! And they’ll ruin their voices! Why, oh why would they do it?
Verdict: TRUE! Mark especially. And I swear if one more fan starts whinging because they’ve just found out and are devastated, I’ll punch them. We’ve known for years, and while we don’t exactly condone it, there’s no point complaining.
5. The Westlife Movie
Following the success of the Spice Girls movie, Westlife’s management decided it would be a fantastic idea to make a Spice-style movie starring the lads. The lads are taking time off from music to make the movie, which will be produced by Simon Cowell and chronicle the rise of Westlife from their small-town beginnings, through to getting their record deal and establishing international success.
Verdict: FALSE! I don’t even want to start on how wrong this would be.
4. Westlife To Duet With [insert name here]
This one seems to pop up every six weeks. The most notable ‘duet partners’ include: Michael Jackson, Shaggy, Ronan Keating, Mike Tyson (I kid you not), Mariah Carey, Diana Ross, Lulu, Jessica Simpson, Brian McFadden (after he left, obviously), Julio Iglesias, Lionel Richie, and Madonna.
Verdict: occasionally true. A total of three of these have happened (Diana, Mariah & Lulu). Not nearly as often as the press would have us believe.
3. Westlife To Split
This one appears so often that it’s lost all of its impact, as most people just dismiss it completely on sight. So far they’ve (apparently) had drunken punch-ups, affairs with each other’s wives, ‘creative differences’, conflicts with their management, solo careers, film careers, and substance abuse. Oh, and we all know a Greatest Hits is undeniable evidence that a band all hate each other and are injecting heroin into their eyeballs.
Verdict: FALSE! Unless there’s something I don’t know yet.
2. Mark Is Not Gay
They really did have a bloody good go of convincing us of this one, even though it was blatantly obvious that the lad was a second short of whipping out the neon hotpants. He had a (pathetically weak) sex scandal fabricated by the powers-that-be that painted him as the bad guy (but a straight bad guy!); a night where he snogged two girls in his hotel room for 90 minutes with the curtains ‘accidentally’ open in full view of fans, but didn’t do anything else (yeah, okay); and a bunch of girlfriends that just happened to work for the same record company, including Mandy Moore.
Verdict: FALSE! Oh Mark, we never believed you.
And finally my number one rumour of all time...
1. Kian vs the Lion.
This one surfaced while they were in South Africa. The story was that they’d gone on safari and Kian had climbed out of the jeep (which is an incredibly clever idea when you’re in the middle of the savannah with wild animals everywhere) to have a closer look at a lion. The lion woke up, got annoyed at being stared at, and chased him back to the jeep. Kian closely escaped death when Mark pulled him back into the car, Kian’s legs inches from being turned into casserole. I hate to say it, but the first time I read it I thought it was true… and I nearly pissed myself laughing.
Verdict: FALSE! They didn’t even go on safari that day – they were too busy sleeping off a hangover.