LATEST: WESTLIFE singer Kian Egan broke down in tears and walked out of a press conference this lunchtime (GMT09MAR04) after reading an emotional tribute to departing bandmate BRYAN McFADDEN.

The FLYING WITHOUT WINGS fivesome looked ashen-faced and emotional as McFadden confirmed reports he would leave the group to concentrate on his family life with wife Kerry McFadden and their two children.

A statement clarifying the situation was read out by the group's spokesperson which said, "In the tradition of all great groups - Westlife are now a four piece."

McFadden added, "It's hard to juggle two lives when you've got a family. I want to concentrate on my family and being at home as much as I can."

Egan read out a heartfelt good luck message from the rest of the band, saying, "We have shared our dreams. We understand and respect your decision. From the bottom of our hearts we love you."

Then all four remaining bandmembers - Egan, Nicky Byrne, Shane Filan and MARK FEEHILY - embraced McFadden before he and Egan quickly left the conference in tears.

09/03/2004 14:42