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DANNY O'Reilly admits he was left devastated after splitting with his lover, I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! presenter Laura Whitmore.

But the lead singer of The Coronas says that pouring his emotions into songs helped him to heal his broken heart after their break-up two years ago.

"I'm not ashamed to say that I've been heartbroken in the last couple of years," Danny tells Shuffle as he gets set to release the group's new album, The Long Way, this weekend.

"And I'm definitely not ashamed to sing about it. Writing about it was therapy for me. I feel comfortable writing stuff that moves me and makes me passionate.

"I think the best songs are the ones that come from an emotional place. I was always a very honest songwriter and I never try to sugar coat it or hide my feelings. Love it or hate it, that's just the way I am."

Dubliner Danny says he had the full support of the other band members - Conor Egan, Graham Knox and Dave McPhillips - when he presented his personal songs to them.

"They're happy with the themes I'm writing about," the talented songwriter insists. "I remember doing the running order for the album and saying to them, 'that's three break-up songs in a row, is that okay?' And the lads were just laughing, 'yeah, we've been listening to you sing them for ages, of course it's okay.'

"It has done me a world of good writing the album. I also enjoy getting to sing and perform the songs. I get a kick out of touring live, so I definitely use it as therapy. I'm very lucky like that."

As the conversation turns to his sex symbol image, Danny gets embarrassed. "I would never consider myself a sex symbol in any way, it's one of the things I'm awkward about," he laughs.

"There used to be more girls than guys at our shows, but in the last few years it fifty-fifty. And it seems our crowd is getting a little bit older, so maybe they have grown up with us."

After establishing themselves as a major band on the Irish scene, The Coronas are now based in London and are hoping The Long Way will be their breakthrough album there.

"When we left college we said we'd give the band a year," Danny reveals. "Now here we are seven or eight years later and we've never had to get a real job, thank God. And long may it continue."

The Coronas live together in the same house in Islington, north London. "Our bass player Knoxy's girlfriend, Aoife, also lives with us, as does our manager, Jim," Danny reveals. "People say to me all the time, 'how the hell do you live together when you work together,' but we get on so well. We're just one of those groups of lucky people, but we've known each other for so long. We're sort of like brothers, or a married couple, we can go a few days without even talking to each other."

So who is the most domesticated? "Oh Knoxy, he's the cook and he's brilliant," Danny responds. "I think he does it because he doesn't trust anyone else to do it."

Signed to Island Records, The Coronas moved to the U.K. to leave their comfort zone. "We needed a change to freshen it up for ourselves," Danny says. "Moving to London seemed like the right thing to do while we still had the desire to go and try it. Plus, we were young enough and we have no mortgages or children. It has definitely changed our mindset and reignited our work ethic and ambition."

H THE Coronas new album, The Long Way, is out now.

Showbiz Editor EDDIE ROWLEY

Irish Independent