Former Westlife Singer Kian Egan

150 150 Rob McGibbon

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Published: 15 March 2014

Former Westlife singer Kian Egan:

‘My biggest regret? Telling Simon Cowell he was wrong!’


We ask a celebrity a set of devilishly probing questions – and only accept THE definitive answer. This week: former Westlife singer Kian Egan


The prized possession you value above all others... My home in Sligo, Ireland. My wife Jodi [singer Jodi Albert] and I designed it and it’s our dream house.

The temptation you wish you could resist... I’m a control freak, so it would be good to let go of a few things.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity... I’m really into photographing nature. I like getting up before dawn to photograph the sunrise.

The figure from history for whom you’d most like to buy a pie and a pint... I’d hang out with Jimi Hendrix at his peak to get a flavour of that crazy rock star life.

The biggest regret you wish you could amend... Telling Simon Cowell he was wrong! He said it would be a mistake for Westlife to release Hey Whatever in 2003. I fought so hard that he let us do it, but it only got to No.4, our lowest chart position. After that he said, ‘From now on you do exactly what I tell you!’

The priority activity if you were the Invisible Man for a day... I’d love to follow President Obama around to see if he really does hold the power, or if he’s controlled by a group of shadowy people.

The pet hate that makes your hackles rise... Bullying.

The film you can watch time and time again... The Endless Summer, about surfers travelling the world. I love its sense of freedom and adventure.

The person who has influenced you most... My dad, Kevin. He died in 2009 from a brain tumour, and it’s only since I had my son Koa, who’s two, that I really appreciate how much he influenced me. He always had a smile on his face

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child... Life is all about finding the right balance.

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again... A black electric guitar which went missing on one of Westlife’s tours. I’d glued a shattered mirror onto it so it would look great in the stage lights. It was probably stolen.

The unending quest that drives you on... To keep trying to surprise myself.

The poem that touches your soul...Tom’s Bomb by David Hornsby. I entered  lots of poetry-reciting competitions as a child and I always performed that poem. I won about 15 competitions with it.

The book that holds an everlasting resonance... The Art Of Happiness by the Dalai Lama and Howard C Cutler. It taught me how to find happiness in the simpler things in life.

The misapprehension about yourself you wish you could erase... People think I’m really harsh because I’m a straight-talking judge on The Voice in Ireland. I’m an easy-going guy.

The event that altered the course of your life and character... My dad’s death made me focus on life and what it means. He was only 64.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it... I’d wipe out the criminals who traffic children.

The song that means most to you... I’m Ready by Bryan Adams. Jodi and I were friends for five years before we started going out. I remember playing her that song in 2003 and then we got together. It’s become our song.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever... Playing Croke Park in Dublin for Westlife’s 10th anniversary in 2008. I got the whole crowd to sing Happy Birthday to my dad.

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions... I’d begin at home with Jodi, Koa, and our Maltese terrier Prince. I’d have a full Irish breakfast with three sausages and white pudding, and a skinny latte. Then I’d go surfing with buddies at Blue Rock nearby. But on this day it’d be blazing sunshine. I’d put Koa on my surfboard so he can feel the waves, then I’d cook a barbecue for my friends and family on Coney Island, which is just off the coast. In the afternoon I’d crash out at the Coral Reef Club on the west coast of Barbados, then take out some paddle boards with Jodi. Then we’d zoom over to Paris and go to the Pont de l’Archevêché bridge to fasten a padlock then throw the key in the Seine as a symbol of our love. Dinner would be at Nobu in Waikiki, Hawaii. I’d have black cod, popcorn shrimp, ragù of beef and Japanese beer. Later we’d hang out at a surfers’ shack bar I love in Barbados and drink Mount Gay Extra Old rum on the rocks. I’d sleep at home in Ireland.

The saddest time that shook your world... When my dad died. It breaks my heart that he never saw my son. 

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you... To catch a barrel -that’s when the water totally folds over as you surf a wave. One day…

The philosophy that underpins your life... Be thankful for what you have.

The order of service at your funeral... I’d have a Catholic service at Sligo Cathedral with a string quartet and uilleann pipes [Irish bagpipes] and an acoustic version of the Foo Fighters’ song My Hero. I may want to rest alongside my dad in a cemetery in Sligo, or I may have my ashes scattered at sea.

The way you want to be remembered... As a caring son, husband and father.  

The Plug... Kian’s debut solo album Home is out on Monday. For more information visit