We knew it was only a matter of time but boyband fanatics will be pleased to learn that Westlife are strongly rumoured to be getting back together after a six-year hiatus - though one member is maintaining his distance from the group. Plus, they've apparently been working on a new song with a very special guest.

Westlife performing liveWestlife performing live

New songs and live dates have allegedly been confirmed for the Dublin quartet as Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily and Shane Filan reunite for the first time since 2012. However, Brian McFadden will sadly not be returning having left the group way back in 2004.

'It's signed, sealed and delivered and it's definitely happening - and it absolutely does not include Brian McFadden', a source told the Irish Sun. 'The other guys have been lined up to return to the studio and record some new songs and tour dates have even been organised, so it's definitely going ahead this time.'

The group's last album was 2010's 'Gravity', featuring the single 'Safe' which was also included in the film 'Dolphin Tale', and reports suggest that they have recently been working on new material with none other than Ed Sheeran, who has previously written songs for the likes of One Direction and Rudimental. 

'Westlife have really been pulling out all the stops for their big comeback and were desperate to get Ed on board', another source revealed. 'They think he will give them a contemporary edge for their reunion. They have already recorded the song and are delighted with the results.'

Whispers of a reunion have been circling since last year at the latest, when their long-time manager Louis Walsh suggested a comeback could be on the cards.

'A Westlife reunion is definitely going to happen - but I have no idea when', he said last year, adding that it was up to the lads to decide when they wanted to come back.

Meanwhile, Nicky Byrne said in an interview with RSVP earlier this year that a reunion could happen in 2019 to coincide with the anniversary of their debut single release.

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'I think a reunion is getting closer, next year we're 20 years since we released 'Swear It Again'', he said. 'The offers are there and I think they will always be there which is nice to feel like that.'