WITH 18 UK number one singles between them, it's hard to argue with the statistics behind a new supergroup that brings together two of the biggest boybands in history.

Boyzlife, which features Keith Duffy of Boyzone, alongside Westlife's Brian McFadden, head for Wrexham next month with two completely sold out tours under their belts since they decided to combine their talents back in 2016.

Together, these giants of the pop charts have been lifting the lid on the highs and lows on their road to stardom as well as the pros and cons of life in the spotlight. The lifelong friends also perform some of the huge hits that brought them so much success in the years after Boyzone first hit the top ten with Love Me For A Reason back in 1994.

"I really wanted to amalgamate my acting career with the music I was doing," explains Keith, on the phone from his native Ireland. "I'd been approached to do an autobiography but I thought I'd rather tell the people all the stories live rather than write them all down.

"So we came up with this concept about how we'd talk about our 20 years in the business, all the highs and lows and what my perspective was on things while doing a few songs along the way.

"Brian and myself go back years and I went to see him on his solo tour in Dublin and we went out for a few pints of Guinness after the show. I told him what I was up to and he said he'd love to do something like that so it was like 'why don't we do this together?'

"I thought it would be much better doing something together than doing it on my own so the idea was born and the first tour sold out in no time."

Keith, 43, managed to keep a high profile after Boyzone disbanded in 2000 and made the switch to acting with his role as Ciaran McCarthy in Coronation Street, but the lure of getting back on stage to perform music was too much for the father-of-two.

"The show has evolved a bit now to be more like a concert because the feedback we were getting from the fans was that they wanted to hear the songs," says Keith. "We've got so many number ones between us that we thought we should just sing them as well having fun on the microphone and a bit more banter so it's predominantly a gig now which is great."

Arriving in the charts just as Boyzone's success was beginning to fade, Westlife enjoyed 12 UK number ones including a record breaking seven top spots in a row. The band also boast four number one albums and over 30 million record sales in total, but Keith insists there was no real rivalry between the two acts who were both managed by music impresario Louis Walsh.

"Boyzone started in 1993 and we really earned our stripes," laughs Keith. " We were playing in barns and discos and night clubs before eventually ending up in theatres and arenas.

"In 1998 we were doing our second arena tour and Louis put Westlife on as our support group so that's when I first met Brian.

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't wondering 'Jeez Louis what are you doing?' because we felt we were at the top of our game but it was good management on his part. Most boybands as far back as you can remember only have a shelf life of six years at the top and that's where we were at the time - Westlife were a very talented group so it was very clever from Louis."

With his penchant for fast cars and a fondness for the Guinness, Keith was always seen as a bit of a rebel in the Boyzone camp and 20 years later he's able to tell all about life on the road without the worry of what the group's younger fans might think.

"Whenever you have a job you have responsibilities that go with it and being in a boy band and having such an impressionable audience it was our responsibility to set a good example," he says. "It wasn't about pretending to be prim and proper but more about being aware you had a young audience. We always had freedom of speech and say what we felt but we were clever enough not to say the wrong things because we had a young audience we wanted to protect.

"I feel we did that but we're older now and we have 10 children between us aged between one and 22 - my son could be Ronan's boy's father!"

After Boyzone, Keith branched out into acting, most notably on Coronation Street where what was meant to be a three-week stint on the show turned into three years from 2002—2005, with Keith only leaving the show to be closer to his family in Ireland.

"I'd like to go back to acting one day but you can't do both at the same," he continues. "I'm so busy with Boyzone and Boyzlife there is no time for acting anywhere.

"But I like to work hard and keep myself busy as long as there are four hours off in the middle of the day for a game of golf I don't mind what we do!"

Next year Keith and Bryan are hoping to get into the studio and record new material as Boyzlife which Keith is excited about.

"Myself and the boys in Boyzone are very close," he says. "We're like family and we support everything each of us does so we're all happy for each of us to go out as individuals representing Boyzone and doing whatever we have to do to pay the bills.

"The music industry has changed so much now - we used to record an album and then tour to sell the album but now we make an album to sell our concert tickets. You need that fan base to be able to have any type of longevity in the business so for the guys and girls coming through, no matter how talented they are, it is very difficult for them to have a hit song.

"You're never going to get acts again who will log the number ones like we did," he laughs. "To be alive and successful in the years when the charts mattered was great but to be alive and successful now they're gone is even better!"

Boyzlife play Wrexham William Aston Hall on Saturday, Otober 27

Tickets from £28.50

Box Office No: 0844 249 1000

Website – http://www.vmstickets.co.uk/

Limited VIP tickets are also available for each of the shows which includes a meet and greet, exclusive tour laminate and an item of merchandise - £60.