Westlife hunk Kian Egan puts the Irish group's longevity down to the strong family bonds that exist around them.

The FLYING WITHOUT WINGS hitmaker insists that since bandmates BRYAN McFADDEN and Nicky Byrne married their long-term loves the band has become much closer.

And the blonde hunk - who dates British TV star JODI ALBERT - is convinced that the Christmas nuptials of singer Shane Filan and his fiancee GILLIAN WELSH on 28 December (03) will strengthen their relationships further.

Kian says, "Shane's wedding is going to be great. And the band are all going to be there to make sure it is a fantastic day.

"This band has grown into a huge family and it won't be long before the grandkids are roaming around.

"All the wives and sister-in-laws and children come together on the tours and that's probably the one thing that has really kept us close as a band.

"If we didn't have all that to go home to at the end of it all, it wouldn't be the same.

"I truly think that's why we are still here today. Everybody has to go home to an everyday life away from the glamour."

28/11/2003 14:24