Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

Byrne ready for Strictly criticism

Nicky Byrne has signed up for this year's Strictly Come Dancing

Former Westlife star Nicky Byrne says he can handle any criticism the Strictly Come Dancing judges throw at him - after working with X Factor supremo Simon Cowell for so long.

The Irish singer, whose group split earlier this year after a 14-year career during which he was signed to one of Simon's record labels, is in the latest series of the BBC dance show.

And he insisted he has developed a thick skin after working with TV's Mr Nasty for years.

Nicky laughed: "I've been signed to Simon Cowell for 14 years so I know exactly what it's like sitting in an office getting criticism.

"But this scenario is different - we don't really know this kind of dancing. They're the pros and you take it and then you walk away and that's how you learn."

The 33-year-old singer insisted Simon and Westlife manager Louis Walsh bear him no grudges for signing up to Strictly, which is a direct rival to their ITV talent show The X Factor.

Nicky said: "No, not all. I spoke to Louis yesterday, it's all good. He said 'I know how difficult Strictly is and all the time you've got to put in. I wish you all the best and we'll hook up for dinner after one of the shows on Saturday night'."

Nicky added: "I'd love him to come down but I don't think that's going to happen."

Westlife became famous for performing most of their 14 number one hit ballads while sitting on stools.

Nicky said the boyband did dance during their live shows, but admitted his moves from those days were unlikely to impress the Strictly judges. He said: "If we were being judged after a Westlife concert we wouldn't be getting any sevens or eights or anything good."

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