UK Irish Embassy honours Westlife

Westlife celebrated five years at the top tonight with their very own ambassadorial reception.

The Irish Embassy in London threw a lavish reception in honour of the chart-topping boyband.

The red carpet was replaced with a green one especially for the occasion.

And celebrity fan Martine McCutcheon was there to present the boys with a Guinness World Record award for the most singles to debut at number one on the UK chart.

The black tie event in Grosvenor Square was a double celebration.

As well as marking their five-year anniversary, the bash was also a launch party for their new album, Turnaround, which is set to storm to the top of the chart this weekend.

The boys – Nicky Byrne, Shane Filan, Bryan McFadden, Kian Egan and Mark Feehily – performed five songs from the album, including Hey Whatever and current hit Mandy.

Mark said: “We’re in a place we never thought we’d get to. We’re delighted to have been around for five years – we just couldn’t be happier.”

Nicky said the band had considered quitting – but now hoped to be around for another five years.

He said: “We always said that if this album wasn’t successful, it might be the end.

“We wondered if our fans would still be there for us but that question has been answered and there are a lot more albums to come.”

Shane was there with fiancee Gillian Walsh, who he will marry on December 28.

He said: “I’m just counting the days now until our wedding. It might break some fans’ hearts but it would have broken my heart if I didn’t marry her.”

This was the first live pop performance to be hosted at the Irish Embassy.

Ambassador Daithi O’Ceallaigh said that Ireland owed a huge debt to Westlife.

“Westlife are a huge act and their success benefits our country,” he said.

“They are wonderful boys, very well mannered and down to earth, and we are delighted to have them here tonight.”

Since they formed in 1998, Westlife have had 12 UK No.1 singles and were the first band to score four number ones in a single year.

All four of their albums have gone multi-platinum and they have combined record sales of more than 31million.

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