Irish pop stars Westlife and Ronan Keating have hit out at Live Aid organiser SIR Bob Geldof, for snubbing them from the recent Band Aid 20 single.

Geldof and MIDGE URE brought together a group of current pop and rock stars to record a cover version of 1984 hit DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS? to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the single and to raise money for refugees in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Musicians invited to perform included Coldplay, U2, Dido, Keane and rapper Dizzee Rascal.

Westlife and Keating were omitted from the list - and they are convinced it's because they aren't cool enough.

Singer Nicky Byrne, "I've never met Bob Geldof but I know he made a few comments that Westlife were unimportant to the music industry.

"Fair enough. We don't write our own records so we're not going to change the world with our music but there are 34 million people out there who've bought our records in the last six years.

"We couldn't compete with U2 or COLDPLAY but it would have been fantastic to be part of it. We'd have given anything to be on that record."

Keating adds, "They're not going for pop acts, they want credible cool acts.

"If that works, fair enough, but at the end of the day they want to make money for the cause so they should think about that."

18/11/2004 14:15