Welsh rockers Stereophonics don't regret their heavy-handed firing of drummer STUART CABLE, and insist he wanted to leave the band.

Frontman Kelly Jones is adamant axing his bandmate was inevitable, but regrets the drummer first finding out about the move when he was telephoned by a radio presenter.

Cable, a childhood friend of Jones, was sacked for "commitment" reasons two years ago (SEP03) and the band still maintain he had lost interest in music.

Singer Jones says, "It got down to the point where he didn't want to go away and do as much as we wanted to do, and a lot of the time when he was there he gave off the vibe that he didn't really want to be there."

He adds, "In the circumstances I was in I couldn't have handled the situation better. I've spoken to Stuart and I've told him that I don't regret why it happened, but I apologised to him for how it happened.

"The lawyers and solicitors issued a press release before he had time to tell his family and all that. That was s**t, but we couldn't help that."