Pop Star Ronan Keating

150 150 Rob McGibbon

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Published: 3 November 2012

Pop star Ronan Keating:

The prized possession you value above all others...My iPhone. It connects me with my friends, work and my children, Jack, 13, Marie, 11, and Ali, six.

The unqualified regret you wish you could amend...The breakdown of my 14-year marriage to Yvonne, which ended in April [after he admitted an affair with a dancer]. I’m not proud of the mistakes I made and it’s not a pretty sight when a relationship breaks down and everything falls apart. If I could turn back time I’d do things differently.

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions...I always wake up on my own these days. But on this day, I’d be with my children in a whitewashed house on Malibu beach. We’d hang out there all morning, just spending quality time together. I’d then travel through the Alps with close friends for a champagne lunch on the Orient-Express, and go on to do a gig in London as there’s no greater buzz than performing. I’d hook up with some people in New York for drinks, but end the day at home in Dublin. I’d cook a steak with plenty of greens and a glass of red wine, then kick back on the sofa to watch a good film, then go to bed.

The temptation you wish you could resist...Australian shiraz red wine. I’m not a big drinker but a meal out with mates can get messy if I  have too much.

The book that holds an everlasting resonance...Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man And The Sea. There’s a real beauty in the old man’s perseverance.

The priority activity if you were the Invisible Man for a day...I’d go behind the scenes at the Kremlin.

The pet hate that makes your hackles rise...Rudeness. It’s so easy to be nice.

The film you can watch time and time again... The Great Escape with Steve McQueen – I’ve seen it 30 or 40 times. Steo [Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, who died in 2009] gave me a vinyl edition of the soundtrack signed by McQueen for my 30th birthday, which I treasure.

The person who has influenced you most...My mother, Marie. She gave me the core values for my life – truthfulness and respect for others. I owe her a lot. [Marie Keating died from breast cancer in 1998 aged 51.]

The figure from history for whom you’d most like to buy a pie and a pint...Winston Churchill. He was a right character who accomplished amazing things but also had a dry wit.

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child...Your health is your wealth. I keep in good shape for 35 and I’m pretty tough on my kids to be healthy, but I still let them have junk food now and then. Kids need to enjoy themselves.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity...Wrist watches. I got my first serious watch – a Rolex Submariner – after joining Boyzone and have been collecting ever since. My Portuguese Tourbillon is worth £70,000.

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again...My virginity! I wish I could make losing it more memorable. The press made a big deal about me being a virgin after I said in my first interviews when I was 16 that I hadn’t had sex. I got asked about it for years and I kept saying I was still a virgin when I wasn’t. I actually lost it when I was 18 while on the road with Boyzone. 

The unending quest that drives you on... To be the best I can be.

The poem that touches your soul...The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. It echoes the spirit in which I’ve led my life. I’ve always taken the tougher road.

The misapprehension about yourself you wish you could erase...I’ve been performing for 20 years so people assume I’m very sure of myself. I’m actually quite insecure.

The event that altered the course of your life and character...The moment Louis Walsh said I was in Boyzone when I was 16. I was euphoric.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it...I’d track down those evil warlords in Africa who turn young kids into soldiers and beat them to within an inch of their lives.

The song that means most to you...Father And Son by Cat Stevens. I sang it at the audition to get into Boyzone, we later released it, and years later I recorded it with Cat and we became friends. I owe that song an awful lot.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever...Obviously, the births of my children, but my first solo album going to No 1 in 2000 was incredible.

The saddest time that shook your world...The world fell apart on the day Steo died. The shock was horrific.

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you...I want to climb Everest and raise money for charity. 

The philosophy that underpins your life...Live each day as if it’s your last.

The order of service at your funeral...I’m Catholic so it’d be at my local church in Malahide, Co Dublin, and I’d want Truly, Madly, Deeply by Ray LaMontagne played. I’d like my ashes scattered somewhere overlooking the sea in Ireland, where my kids can visit.

The way you want to be remembered...As a good father and an honest man, who made mistakes but he learnt from them. And as someone who made people happy with his music.

The Plug...Wasted Light, the new  single from Ronan’s album Fires, is out on 3 December. Visit the Marie Keating Foundation at www.mariekeating.ie