Irish pop group Westlife have congratulated their former bandmate BRIAN McFADDEN on his new look.

The father-of-two lost weight on the controversial Atkins diet following his shock decision to quit the band in March (04), in a bid to change his image for his new solo career.

Ex-bandmate Nicky Byrne explains, "We are stronger than ever. Brian was just going through the motions and you can't go on like that.

"He didn't want to be in Westlife and we wanted him to go. He now looks physically better than ever."

Shane Filan was quick to assure fans they are still friends with McFadden.

Filan says, "He's still one of our best mates. We phone him up for a chat. I think his music is really good. We wish him the best of luck."

25/08/2004 09:01