Former WESTLIFE singer BRYAN MCFADDEN has signed a $1.8 million (GBP1 million) solo record contract with Sony, who want to turn him into the next Robbie Williams.

McFadden, who quit the chart-topping Irish boyband earlier this year to spend more time with his young family, has even teamed up with songwriter GUY CHAMBERS - the man responsible for co-writing Williams' biggest hits.

While in Westlife, Bryan was berated for being overweight and jeopardising the group's image - but since the split he has lost nearly 13 kilograms (two stones) and transformed himself into a pop idol.

04/07/2004 15:47