BRIAN McFadden admits that he’s got the best of both worlds.

The former Westlife singer has teamed up with best mate Keith Duffy from Boyzone to tour as Boyzlife, taking the massive hits which both bands have enjoyed throughout their career to audiences around the world.

“The beauty of Boyzlife for both me and Keith is that we tailor our gigs and our tours around our lives,” said Brian. “If there is stuff going on like if it’s Keith’s wedding anniversary or it’s one of our kids’ birthdays then we won’t be available. We can tailor it so that our lives comes first and our work comes second.”

The ability to have a life is something which Brian treasures and he admits it’s not something that was possible when he was part of Westlife.

“It’s OK when you are in your early 20s touring round the world, working 365 days a year,” he said. “But I couldn’t do that now. I’ve got kids, I’ve got a partner and a life. There are other things outside of music. Unfortunately for a machine as big as Westlife you can’t just do a gig here and there; it’s got to be full steam ahead.”

With Westlife, Brian had a string of number one singles as the band reigned supreme but in 2004 he surprisingly quit the group to start a solo career.

Next year marks Westlife’s 20th anniversary but Brian is adamant there won’t be any reunion tour.

“There won’t be a reunion of all five of us,” he said. “The four of them - Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily and Shane Filan - will probably get back together but we won’t be a five again. Although it’s the 20th anniversary you’ve got to remember it’s also the 14th anniversary since I left.

“If you were to be in a band like Westlife, then Westlife comes first and you have to try and work a life around it. That’s not for me any more.

“By the end of my time in the band. I’d started not to like it and it had started to feel like work. It should never feel like work; it’s a privilege to be able to perform on stage and do what I do and I was so lucky to get the opportunity and to be as successful as we were.

“But to be doing it and not enjoying it and seeing it as a chore; then you know you shouldn’t be doing it.”

As a solo artist Brian had considerable success including four number one singles but he’s delighted to have teamed up with Keith Duffy for Boyzlife.

“The thing I missed most was having other people to share it with,” he said, “having someone there when something good or exciting happened, When you are a solo artist it can be quite a lonely thing.”

Brian and Keith have known each other all their careers with Boyzone paving the way for the two Irish groups’ chart domination.

“We all grew up within a mile or so of each other,” said Brian. “When we started Ronan Keating was our manager and we started as Boyzone’s support act. We were on tour with them for nearly two years so we are really like family. There was never any rivalry. They helped us to get where we were and we always appreciated it.”

Brian and Keith first started working together in 2016 and since then have toured the world playing sold out shows. They are to return to the UK with a series of dates in October including shows at Manchester Academy and Preston LiVe.

“We haven’t stopped working really since,” said Brian, “and the fans have been magnificent. We did a gig in China where we sang at the Chinese equivalent of the Oscars. It was the first time we had ever been in mainland China even though both Westlife and Boyzone were massive there. There were fans at the airport and at the hotel, it was crazy.”

Boyzone have just announced that they are to undertake a farewell tour next year in the band’s 25th year.

“There are not many bands that can sustain that kind of success for so long and still play arenas,” said Brian. “They’ve all got their own lives now and I guess they wanted just one last hurrah. It’s a great way for them to bow out.”

Boyzlife is a genuine partnership with Brian and Keith taking care of all the arrangements.

“We don’t even have a manager,” he said. “We manage ourselves because we don’t want anyone else telling us what to do. There are no arguments, there’s no having to fight with managers or record companies, it’s just our call. It’s a great position to be in.”

When touring the boys combine their two main passions - performing and playing golf. Brian is a nine handicapper and Keith plays off 10.

“Playing golf every day and performing every night - that’s life for me and Keith,” said Brian. “We’re both golf mad.”

Boyzlife clearly fits into Brian’s philosophy on life.

“You’ve got to put your life first and you work second,” he said.

“It’s easy to say that but the reason I can do that now is based on all the years that I worked really hard. I’ve put in the shift and now I’m reaping the rewards.”

Boyzlife, Manchester Academy, Wednesday, October 10 and Preston LiVe, Friday, October 12