British boyband Blue have reportedly split, after singer Lee Ryan's throat illness forced them to cancel their farewell tour.

The band had hoped for one last series of gigs before going their separate ways, four years after they burst into the UK charts with debut hit ALL RISE, and had a 12-date UK arena tour scheduled.

But singer Ryan has been warned he has nodules on his throat and risks permanently damaging his voice if he tours - so the band have been forced to bring forward their demise.

Ryan says, "I am gutted and very sorry to disappoint our fans. The situation is unavoidable. It's terrible timing and I'm very upset."

A source adds, "Lee is crucial to the band. He is loved by the fans and sings important lines and harmonies.

"The lads were already planning to go their separate ways after the tour finished. So Blue are effectively over now.

"They are all still friends and may get back together one day. But it's the end of the journey for now."

25/02/2005 03:49