Like Robbie Williams, Brian McFadden made the decision to leave a boyband to make music on his own terms with a solo career.
Of course, this is where the similarities end.
We all know what happened next when Robbie waved goodbye to Take That in 1995 â a succession of top solo hits such as Angels and Millennium, headline shows at Knebworth and, more recently, a few pretty dodgy albums and a personal meltdown.
Meanwhile, Brian has become more famous in the celebrity gossip columns for being Delta Goodrem’s boyfriend (and Kerry Katona’s ex-husband) than a musician since ditching Westlife in 2004.
However, it seems that Robbie’s heart-warming reunion with his old Take That pals has put ideas in Brian’s head â he says he’d love to follow in his footsteps by rejoining Westlife.
Writing on his Twitter account, McFadden claimed he recently had a dream of performing with the Irish crooners at a “crazy sized” sports stadium.
Not one to ignore the messages in his dreams, he told his followers: “If I’m to be honest yes I would love to do an album with [the] boys and show JLS and Take That what we are really made of! If the boys wanna challenge these newcomers I am always up for a fight.”
JLS and Take That must be quaking in their boots. And Westlife? According to the latest celebrity news reports, the Take That reunion “has not encouraged us to get Brian back”.
And, to be honest, why would they? While they’re hardly the most cutting edge group on the block â were they ever? â Westlife are still pretty big news. Sell out tours, appearances on the X Factor, increasingly cringeworthy records – it’s been business as usual since Brian left. With an army of loyal, screaming fans, the lads hardly need the publicity boost of a reunion with their old mate to sell their latest album Gravity.
Brian, on the other hand, has barely been seen in the UK charts since his debut album Irish Son failed to hit the heights of his time in Westlife. He’s since been forced to look at other careers â including stints in Delta’s native country Australia on shows such as Football Superstar and Australia’s Got Talent.
Sadly for Brian, it seems those dreams of rejoining his old mates are unlikely to come true – unless they’re looking for someone to drive the tour bus or serve the backstage drinks, that is.
Andrew Joyce is a part-time journalist and full-time couch potato celebrity critic!