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Here, RTÉ's rising star Nicky Byrne tells how he went from Simon Cowell's toy to master of his own destiny Nicky Byrne arrives to our photoshoot dressed in blue jeans, a crisp white shirt and shades, greeting everyone at the studio warmly and politely.He hasn't given many personal interviews since Westlife went out in a blaze of glory in Croke Park in June 2012, but once we start talking, he chats animatedly for almost two hours.Nicky poses with the stool - balancing it on his nose at one point - before kicking it away playfully in a gesture that says "boyband, begone".
"I think I was immediately categorised as a 'Dub' to Louis, and I think he thought all of us Dubs were probably a bit cocky, but he came around to me in the end.
He has an amazing musical ear and ability to groom groups of lads into superstars - and I think he was the most heartbroken of all when Westlife ended."It's been three years now since Westlife called it a day, so how does he get on with the rest of the lads from the now-defunct group, namely Kian Egan, Shane Filan and Mark Feehily?
In March last year, Nicky landed his own vehicle - The Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene.
In something of a turbulent time for Irish radio, the figures for the show are an impressive 150,000 listeners."I was definitely an underdog," Nicky admits of landing a coveted slot on the radio schedule, "but I came in and learned how to work the desk.
They would go into each meeting determined to argue their case, but would come out having, inexplicably to themselves, agreed to another cover.
"We had the biggest arguments and shouting matches, but when you're looking at Simon and the mirror behind him says, 'Yes Simon, you look terrific,' you can't say no," says Nicky. Westlife were the most popular toys he had, but the next toys kept coming along, like Gareth Gates, Shayne Ward and Leona Lewis."We spent the rest of our career hoping he'd pick us up and play with us again, because we loved him and knew how powerful he was. They were the upcoming boxers coming to knock us out, and we didn't have any fight left in us."When Westlife did go their separate ways, Mark and Shane recorded albums, Kian became a judge on RTÉ's The Voice of Ireland.I don't do things half-arsed, and I wanted to be successful on radio long term."I have never looked back, as who gets to do something they love and have genuine banter with someone as cool and edgy as Jenny?She's there with her dance music and I'm from a pop band but it works."Mind you, there's a softer side to Jenny that I can bring out, and she has admitted to me now that she bought a few Westlife CDs over the years!We have an amazing team behind us, but we don't look for drama, as I just want guests to come on to have a laugh with us."Of course, drama often arrives of its own accord - in Nicky's case with him being hotly tipped for a move to RTÉ Radio 1 in recent weeks before it was confirmed that it would instead be Ryan Tubridy who would permanently take over the morning slot vacated by John Murray."I'm sad to see Ryan go, as he's so funny and such a nice guy," says Nicky of the reshuffle.By Helen Carson Following in the footsteps of his famous chart topping brother Nathan, Jake Carter (18) is making a name for himself with his own blend of country/pop/rock.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating