Brian McFadden as The Sung Thoughts of the Journalist performs during a dress rehearsal for ‘War of the Worlds’
Brian McFadden is thrilled at the thought of getting the chance to work with his fellow Irish man actor Liam Neeson, even if the latter is only present as a hologram.
Brian, 34, plays the singing voice of the journalist, portrayed by Neeson, in the stage extravaganza that is Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds.
“Liam Neeson and me. That is not bad,” says Brian. “I’ll take that company
“He is brilliant. I have loved him ever since he did Michael Collins. He is just an incredible actor
“And in Taken I think the whole world got kind of a new school action hero.”
Although Brian doesn’t get to act with Liam in the flesh, he says he will be looking for opportunities for some off-script interaction.
“We can have some serious fun with that hologram. I’m going to try and make some videos of me talking to it. Find out what lines he has got to say and then ask a question that will make his answer seem really weird. Just me havin’ a chat with old Liam.”
This is the final tour of the War of the Worlds, the musical experience based on HG Wells’ story of monstrous martians who invade earth and threaten to destroy civilization. The story is narrated by the journalist. Jeff Wayne originally devised it as a concept album which was released in 1978.
This production also stars Jason Donovan and former X Factor winner Shayne Ward.
The show features remarkable special effects, including a 3-tonne 35ft tall Martian Fighting Machine firing real flames into the arena, a 100ft wide animation wall and a ground-breaking levitation effect.
Having not done musicals or pantos before, this will be the first time Brian has worked as part of an acting ensemble and he says he will have to get used to the discipline.
“Obviously doing my own tours and my own show I could change as we went along, do wherever I wanted. The same as in Westlife
“But here I can’t just do my own thing, I have to have it exactly the way it is supposed to be.
“I don’t have to act in this but I would like to do acting maybe one day, to see if I could do it. I suppose this is a good starting step.
“I am just honoured to be part of the last War of the Worlds.”
Even though the scale of the production means it has to be staged in arenas, Brian says he is not intimidated by large venue spaces since his days as a boyband star with Westlife, which he auditioned for when he was only a teenager.
“We are pretty much playing all the venues that I did with Westlife. It’ll nice to be some old places again.
“You never know, there might still be some screaming. Some of those War of the Worlds fans are like One Direction fans, they are crazy about it.”
Another thing he is looking forward to when the show comes to the LG Arena on December 5, will be the chance to get in some golfing – if his schedule and the weather allows.
“I have played Birmingham with my own show and I toured with Ronan Keating last year.
“I love Birmingham. It is a great place and one of my favourite golf courses is The Belfry, I have always loved the atmosphere and the history.
“I am a big, big golfer. I have been playing it my whole life. My handicap is 11 but I am trying to get it into single figures.
“Luckily enough for me, my wife Vogue’s parents live on the golf course.
“She likes golf as well, actually. Her whole family plays golf so she doesn’t really have a choice.”
He married Vogue, a DJ and model who also comes from Ireland, two years ago.
This year they moved back there from Australia, where Brian has been based for a number of years since starting a relationship with the singer and actress Delta Goodrem and working as a judge on Australia’s Got Talent.
He admits he had wanted to come back for a long time as he was missing his two daughters, Molly and Lily-Sue, from his first marriage to Kerry Katona.
“I was so far away I didn’t get to see them as much as I’d like, I could only see them when they were on holiday and had more than a week off. I had wanted to come back for a long time but I had (work) commitments. As soon as I was a free agent, I was out of there.”
Since returning he has been busy presenting shows for and a dating show for Channel Five and a cooking game show for ITV.
Brian is hoping to release another solo album. “I have got a lot of songs I have been writing. I have been kind of taking my time on it. I like to write songs that are true, very much what’s happening in my life, not fictional songs.
“The first album (Irish Son), I was in a very different place, it’s quite a dark album. This will definitely be more positive.”
Source: Birmingham Post
They once had careers which saw them top the charts.
But now Jason Donovan, Shayne Ward and Brian McFadden have all swapped pop for the stage in a brand new theatre production. Together, the three men star in a forthcoming adaptation of War Of The Worlds.
The trio were seen in the final dress rehearsal for Jeff Wayne’s play, which is making its sixth and final tour of UK Arenas. Wearing a retro, pin-striped suit, former Westlife singer Brian could be seen tackling a solo number as he took to the stage in the guise of his character: The Sung Thoughts of The Journalist. Around him were both a live orchestra and some ambitious special effects, including a hologram of actor Liam Neeson, whose voice makes a cameo in the play.
Brian, 34, has spent much of his recent career in Australia where he was a judge on Australia’s Got Talent alongside singer Dannii Minogue. At least that’ll give Brian a talking point with Jason Donovan, who famously dated her elder sister, Kylie, in the eighties when they starred together in Neighbours.
In this production, Donovan stars as Parson Nathaniel and delivers one of the more dramatic roles. No stranger to the stage, however, he once performed as the lead in West End hit Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
The show, which is mixed live in Surround Sound, features various special effects, including a three-tonne, 35-foot tall Martian Fighting Machine, which fires real flames into the auditorium.
Jeff Wayne’s double album was originally released by CBS Records in 1978. It has enjoyed huge success and critical acclaim across the globe with over 15 million records sold and spending over 330 weeks in the UK Album Charts (to date) plus achieving two International hit singles – ‘Forever Autumn’ and ‘The Eve of The War’. The album has also been Number 1 in 11 countries around the world and Top 10 in 22.
The War of The Worlds has also won two UK Ivor Novello Awards, the US Best Recording in Science Fiction and Fantasy (the judges included Alfred Hitchcock, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg), as well as winning for Jeff, Classic Rock’s ‘Showman of The Year’ Award.
Source: Daily Mail
His sister Susan is no stranger to musical theatre, having played leading roles in the West End and on tour since winning Grease is the Word.
Now big brother Brian is getting in on the act.
McFadden senior is heading for the ECHO arena later this month, appearing as the Sung Thoughts of the Journalist in Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds.
But while this may be a departure for the Westlife singer, it’s not, it appears, his first experience of big stage spectaculars.
“I did all kinds of kids’ productions, and stuff like Grease,” he reveals of his time as a young member of Dublin’s Billie Barry Stage School.
“And I also did some big productions, things like the Wizard of Oz, which was a nine or 10 month run in the Olympia Theatre in Dublin.
“But I haven’t been in a musical since I was 13 or 14, so this will be my first time doing any sort of ensemble work since then.”
And it’s quite an ensemble that show mastermind Jeff Wayne has drawn together for what he has declared to be the final arena tour for the all-singing, all-fire breathing stage version of H G Wells’ sci-fi classic.
The cast includes Jason Donovan as Parson Nathaniels, Les Mis’ Carrie Hope Fletcher as his wife Bess, and X Factor’s Shayne Ward and Joseph Whelan as the Artilleryman and Voice of Humanity respectively.
Wells also features in this final tour, ‘appearing’ in three scenes, aged 33, 53 and 79 – spanning the end of the 19th century and two world wars.
Then there’s a new face too as the hologram, a role originally played by the late Richard Burton.
“Even the hologram is Liam Neeson!” Brian laughs. “You don’t want to mess it up in front of him.”
Conductor and composer Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds has its origins in a double album first released in 1978, going on to sell more than 15 million records and topping the charts in 11 countries as well as spawning two hit singles including Forever Autumn.
The first arena tour took place in 2006, with Justin Hayward reprising his original role as the Sung Thoughts of the Journalist, who gets to perform the song. Brian steps into his shoes – and those of Marti Pellow who played the role on tour two years ago.
“Forever Autumn is an incredible song,” says Brian, “it’s one of my favourites. I’ve never seen the show live, only on DVD, but I’ve heard the song on the radio before of course because it’s been released by a few people. So I’m really delighted to be singing that song.”
There won’t, however, be much chance to put his own stamp on it.
“This is Jeff’s baby,” points out the 34-year-old. “Normally when you sing a song you can put your own spin on it.
“But these are iconic songs, and you have to keep them true to how they’ve been in the musical for the past however many years.
“A lot of the die-hard fans might lose their temper if I change it!”
It’s all a far cry from the control that comes with being part of one of the most successful boy bands of all time, as well as running your own solo career.
Perhaps it could be a new direction for the dad-of-two (and former Mr Kerry Katona of course) who has also started to forge a presenting career alongside his musical one.
It would certainly be a nod back to the young Brian’s time as member of Ireland’s most famous stage school, which celebrates its half-century this year. “I don’t know,” he says doubtfully. “This is a one-off for me. I’ve just got to see how it goes, and see if I enjoy it.
“It’s definitely not the jazz hands part of the musicals’ business!”
That’s true. No one has attempted to make a jazz hands version of H G Wells’ apocalyptic vision.
“It’s pretty much the original science fiction story,” Brian adds. “And the genre hasn’t really changed that much, has it?”
Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds is at the ECHO arena on November 28.
Former Westlife singer Brian McFadden has rubbished rumours that the boy band are planning a reunion tour.
The band experienced incredible global success with 50 million album sales worldwide and 14 UK number ones before they disbanded in 2012.
Brian left the band in 2004 to pursue a solo career.
“If there ever was a Westlife reunion, it doesn’t mean I’m going to be involved because don’t forget they were together as a four piece longer than I was in the band,” Brian told the Herald. “None of us have ever spoken about it or talked about it but I would never rule out doing something with them,” he continued.
“It’s not even close to being on the cards, we’re all doing so many different things in our careers and it hasn’t even been spoken about. “Other people have been talking about it but none of us have,” he added.
Brian (34) also revealed that reading Shane Filan’s book brought up memories of his time in Westlife. “I couldn’t believe how nice he was to me in it,” he revealed.
“When I read the book, it brought back so many memories for me. “I’d like to read all five members’ books and put it all together because Shane’s book brought stories that I had completely forgotten about,” he added.
Brian McFadden has been announced as the male co-host to join Karen Koster presenting The Christmas Toy Show on TV3.
Former X Factor and Eurovision entrants Jedward will be joining the former Westlife star and Xpose host for the 90-minute show which will be broadcast live from the RDS on Friday November 21 from 8pm.
McFadden is no stranger to presenting having tackled ITV show Who’s Doing the Dishes, and Channel 5’s Stand By Your Man as well as his stint on Australia’s Got Talent.
“This is a really exciting opportunity for me. I’ve worked on a lot of great shows in the UK but it’s great to come home and host a show that I know will be a great production,” he said.
“When TV3 approached me I just thought the Christmas Toy Show was right up my alley and something I could bring a lot of energy to and have a lot of fun in the process.”
Karen added, “I am actually due the baby around Christmas Day so this Christmas is extra special, and what better way to get all Christmassy than by hosting what is essentially 90 minutes of acting like you are 8-years-old all over again!”
The TV3 show will broadcast a week before RTE’s Late Late Toy Show, hosted by Ryan Tubridy.
TV3 presenter Alan Hughes recently expressed his disappointment at not being considered for the show.
“Of course it’s disappointing and it’s hurtful, especially as last year’s show was so successful,” he told the Herald.
Last year, Alan fronted a 30-minute toy show from Tattersalls Winter Wonderland which aired an hour and a half before the 2013 Late Late Toy Show. The show was a huge success with over 350,000 viewers.
“The show was so successful last year, even the repeat had over 400,000 viewers and it was the biggest home-produced show last year,” Alan said.
“The only show that beat us in the ratings was Coronation Street or something like that and we were looking to go bigger and better with it this year so it is disappointing not to have been chosen,” he continued.
Brian and Vogue will be on new channel ITVbe with a brand new series Seven Days With… You can catch their episode, episode 3 on Monday 27th October at 10pm.
Seven Days With…is a brand new reality series that spends a week behind closed doors with your favorite celebrity couples. From showbiz glitz, to the humdrum of daily life; it’s a unique insight into the lives of some of our best loved twosomes in the public eye and tells the real stories behind the glamour
Brian 13-year-old daughter Molly has recorded a song for her mum’s, Kerry Katona 34th birthday.
Proud mum Kerry uploaded a video of her eldest daughter singing and playing the ukulele onto her YouTube account.
Check the song out below:
As you probably know, Brian is hosting a new daytime ITV show, “Who’s Doing The Dishes?”
There is great celebrities cooks for this series which include: Louis Walsh, Claire Richards, Amy Childs, Jo Wood, Tina Malone, Wes Brown, Dane Bowers, Alison Hammond, Toyah Wilcox, Sian Lloyd, Vincent Simone, Cheryl Baker, Martin Offiah, Michelle Heaton, Gillian McKeith and Jo McElderry.
The premiere is TODAY, September 1st at 4pm and will continue to show at the same time on weekdays on Freeview channel 3 and Sky 103.