Brian McFadden is thrilled at the thought of getting the chance to work with his fellow Irish man actor Liam Neeson, even if the latter is only present as a hologram.
Brian, 34, plays the singing voice of the journalist, portrayed by Neeson, in the stage extravaganza that is Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds.
“Liam Neeson and me. That is not bad,” says Brian. “I’ll take that company
“He is brilliant. I have loved him ever since he did Michael Collins. He is just an incredible actor
“And in Taken I think the whole world got kind of a new school action hero.”
Although Brian doesn’t get to act with Liam in the flesh, he says he will be looking for opportunities for some off-script interaction.
“We can have some serious fun with that hologram. I’m going to try and make some videos of me talking to it. Find out what lines he has got to say and then ask a question that will make his answer seem really weird. Just me havin’ a chat with old Liam.”
This is the final tour of the War of the Worlds, the musical experience based on HG Wells’ story of monstrous martians who invade earth and threaten to destroy civilization. The story is narrated by the journalist. Jeff Wayne originally devised it as a concept album which was released in 1978.
This production also stars Jason Donovan and former X Factor winner Shayne Ward.
The show features remarkable special effects, including a 3-tonne 35ft tall Martian Fighting Machine firing real flames into the arena, a 100ft wide animation wall and a ground-breaking levitation effect.
Having not done musicals or pantos before, this will be the first time Brian has worked as part of an acting ensemble and he says he will have to get used to the discipline.
“Obviously doing my own tours and my own show I could change as we went along, do wherever I wanted. The same as in Westlife
“But here I can’t just do my own thing, I have to have it exactly the way it is supposed to be.
“I don’t have to act in this but I would like to do acting maybe one day, to see if I could do it. I suppose this is a good starting step.
“I am just honoured to be part of the last War of the Worlds.”
Even though the scale of the production means it has to be staged in arenas, Brian says he is not intimidated by large venue spaces since his days as a boyband star with Westlife, which he auditioned for when he was only a teenager.
“We are pretty much playing all the venues that I did with Westlife. It’ll nice to be some old places again.
“You never know, there might still be some screaming. Some of those War of the Worlds fans are like One Direction fans, they are crazy about it.”
Another thing he is looking forward to when the show comes to the LG Arena on December 5, will be the chance to get in some golfing – if his schedule and the weather allows.
“I have played Birmingham with my own show and I toured with Ronan Keating last year.
“I love Birmingham. It is a great place and one of my favourite golf courses is The Belfry, I have always loved the atmosphere and the history.
“I am a big, big golfer. I have been playing it my whole life. My handicap is 11 but I am trying to get it into single figures.
“Luckily enough for me, my wife Vogue’s parents live on the golf course.
“She likes golf as well, actually. Her whole family plays golf so she doesn’t really have a choice.”
He married Vogue, a DJ and model who also comes from Ireland, two years ago.
This year they moved back there from Australia, where Brian has been based for a number of years since starting a relationship with the singer and actress Delta Goodrem and working as a judge on Australia’s Got Talent.
He admits he had wanted to come back for a long time as he was missing his two daughters, Molly and Lily-Sue, from his first marriage to Kerry Katona.
“I was so far away I didn’t get to see them as much as I’d like, I could only see them when they were on holiday and had more than a week off. I had wanted to come back for a long time but I had (work) commitments. As soon as I was a free agent, I was out of there.”
Since returning he has been busy presenting shows for and a dating show for Channel Five and a cooking game show for ITV.
Brian is hoping to release another solo album. “I have got a lot of songs I have been writing. I have been kind of taking my time on it. I like to write songs that are true, very much what’s happening in my life, not fictional songs.
“The first album (Irish Son), I was in a very different place, it’s quite a dark album. This will definitely be more positive.”
War of the Worlds is at the LG Arena on December 5. For tickets look up www.theticketfactory.com or call 0844 338 8000.