Monday 25 March 2019

'I was in Miami in the sun' - Louis Walsh says he 'couldn't care less' about Boyzone's final farewell

Louis Walsh on Ireland's Got Talent on Virgin Media One
Louis Walsh on Ireland's Got Talent on Virgin Media One
Louis Walsh, Lucy Kennedy, Jason Byrne at the launch of TV3's autumn schedule and rebranding at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre. PIC: Brian McEvoy
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Louis Walsh says he 'couldn't care less' about Boyzone bowing out with a farewell tour after 25 years.

The music manager and TV personality launched the careers of Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch and the late Stephen Gately when he founded the group in 1993.

However, he says he did not attend their final Irish concert at the 3Arena earlier this month.

"No, I wasn’t there.  Don’t care,” he tells Independent.ie.  “I was in Miami in the sun.  Couldn’t care less, honestly."

Ireland's Got Talent presenter Lucy Kennedy with judges Jason Byrne, Denise Van Outen, Michele Visage and Louis Walsh
Ireland's Got Talent presenter Lucy Kennedy with judges Jason Byrne, Denise Van Outen, Michele Visage and Louis Walsh
Ireland's Got Talent judges Denise Van Outen and Jason Byrne at the Virgin Media Television spring launch. PIC: Brian McEvoy
Michelle Visage

Currently managing his other famous boyband, Westlife, as they embark on a world reunion tour, and gear up for a new album release, he's basking in their second run of success.

He had no doubts the time was right for Nicky Byrne, Mark Feehily, Shane Filan, and Kian Egan to re-form after six years.

Jason Byrne on Ireland's Got Talent
Jason Byrne on Ireland's Got Talent

“I knew there was a massive appetite for the back catalogue of songs, the new song, and there’s a new song, a new Ed Sheeran song, releasing in a few weeks.  It’s brilliant," he reveals.

Sheeran co-wrote the band's comeback single, Hello My Love, and there is also an album in the offing. 

Wee Daniels
Wee Daniels

Westlife will play two sold-out Croke Park dates on July 5 and 6 and a handful of extra tickets released this week; "I believe there are 100 tickets left over two days.  It’s fantastic.  It’s amazing.  It’s unheard of,” says Louis.

As well as managing Westlife, Walsh is currently promoting the second series of Ireland's Got Talent, which kicked of last month on Virgin Media One.

Daniel Cooney
Daniel Cooney

So far two Golden Buzzer acts have been chosen and there was a bust-up with fellow judge, Jason Byrne, over Byrne's reaction to one auditionee.

“It’s just he’s great at judging comedians and things," explains Louis.

"He said one guy was a 'great guitar player'.  How would he know?  I just picked him up on it.  He knows if a comedian has potential, if they’re funny, their timing and all that."

He adds, "We really get on well.  All of us get on well, more than any other show I’ve ever done.  Everyone gets on because we’re not in competition, there’s no mentoring and the girls are very professional.”

He praises Jason's Golden Buzzer act, which the comedian chose last week - Swords dance troupe BSD.

"We get an awful lot of dancers but there were really good, their energy was amazing and we were just, 'wow'.  There are other great dance troupes coming up as well but he went with his heart and that was a good thing."

Louis, who was a judge on ITV's The X Factor for 13 years, also reveals his upcoming Golden Buzzer act is a singer from Cork and he feels they have a "good chance" of winning.

"I honestly believe that this person is really, really good.  Honestly, I was very surprised, really surprised," he says.

"The thing about this show is that it's just ordinary people who have never gotten a chance or believed in themselves and they go along, and it's a feel good show for the family."

Ratings for the second series of the show have started off more sluggish than the first.  The first episode in 2018 attracted 470,000 viewers, 35pc of the viewing share.  This year, the first episode attracted 330,000, which was a 22pc share.

“I’m not worried about it.  The thing is it’s very strong and people watch it in different ways.  They watch it the following day, on catch up.  They don’t want to watch all the ads.  There’s a great vibe on the show and young people are watching it so Virgin Media One are very happy," he says.

This weekend's third episode sees a group of five youngsters called The Wee Daniels take to the stage to sing one of Daniel O'Donnell's hits. 

Louis laughs, "It was just very unusual that these five... what young kids want to be like Daniel O'Donnell?" and adds, "They're really, really nice kids."

Daniel Cooney, a singer from Tallaght, who previously auditioned for Louis' boyband Hometown, will also perform in tomorrow night's show.

Louis says he has no problem with hopefuls auditioning for him several times or on different shows "as long as they come back better and more confident".

"That's what auditions are for," he says.  "You learn and you come back better and stronger.  Everybody has auditioned and failed.  You learn from that.  It's how you learn your craft."

Ireland's Got Talent airs on Virgin Media One on Saturday February 16 at 7.30pm.

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