Irish sensations Westlife have eased fans fears by vowing to stay together for the next few years - and insist they've never been closer.

The UNBREAKABLE five-piece hint they have a further two or three albums to come, despite constant speculation that they're on the verge of splitting up - and the band believe their upcoming LP will be their best yet.

Singer Kian Egan explains, "Personally, I don't feel like I need to think about three years time. I'm just gonna take it day by day. But I love being in Westlife and I can see us lasting for another two or three years anyway.

"The new album we're making is sounding fantastic. I feel that it's the best album we're ever gonna make."

Bandmate Shane Filan adds, "We've all made a few quid. We have our houses and all that sort of stuff. It's not like we're dreaming of things anymore. But, at the moment, we're more together as a band than we've ever been.

"We're gonna make the next album and, the way we look at it is, if that does well, we'll probably make another. I'd like to be able to enjoy it for a few more years. After that, it's hard to know."

Fellow star Nicky Byrne admits, "We could easily have split up loads of times, especially if we believed what the papers said.

"But some people seem to think we won the lottery and that we don't deserve what we have. I'm sure there are better singers in Ireland. I'm sure there are better looking people in Ireland, or anywhere else for that matter.

"We were the five boys in the right place at the right time, but I do believe we've made it last because of the work that we have put in and because of the bond we share."

02/07/2003 13:44