Although they’re on the comeback trail with their first new single in eight years and have their fanbase on edge, Westlife have confirmed that former member Brian McFadden will not be joining their upcoming reunion tour.

The four-piece group, who dropped their comeback single ‘Hello My Love’ earlier this week following the announcement of their reunion back in October last year, told the Metro that their erstwhile bandmate would not be joining them to make it a full reunion.

“He left the band 15 years ago, we were only five years in and kids at the time,” Shane Filan explained. “We went on to become a band for another eight or nine years after that. It would be very weird to have another person in the band again, some of us haven’t seen Brian in a very long time. We haven’t fallen out with Brian either. It’s like we all went to a different school and he went another way.”

“Brian left a long time ago so we’re moving forward not backwards.”

McFadden quit Westlife to pursue a solo career back in 2004 after the release of their fourth studio album Turnaround, leaving Filan, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily and Nick Byrne as a quartet. They released six more albums before bowing out in 2012.

More: Brian McFadden’s departure from Westlife “scared” his bandmates [archive]

“The simple fact is Westlife is four people,” Feehily remarked. “That’s the way it is and it’s not changing. It’s far too late in the day to change it. We love our past and story being colourful and exciting but it hasn’t been a walk in the park to get it where we are today.”

That said, the foursome said they wouldn’t rule out the possibility of working on a “duet” with McFadden in the future, merely that it wasn’t foreseeable that he’d ever re-join Westlife on a permanent basis.

Brian McFaddenBrian McFadden quit Westlife in 2004

For his part, McFadden, who recently complained that his four ex-bandmates recently turned down a lucrative deal to perform with him, has given the thumbs-up to Westlife’s comeback single.

“Love it! Great song great production,” he tweeted. “The boys are back!”

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