At a press conference in Dublin today, Westlife announced that Bryan McFadden will leave the band.

The four remaining members - Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, Nicky Byrne and Shane Filan - have said that they intend to continue without the 23-year-old.

According to the McFaddens' publicist, Max Clifford, the singer told his colleagues at the weekend about his plans to leave because he wants to spend more time with his family.

He is married to former Atomic Kitten Kerry McFadden, who starred in recent reality TV series 'I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!'.

The couple have two children, 2-year-old Molly and  Lily-Sue (1).

McFadden will not join Westlife on their forthcoming world tour but he may team up with his wife for television projects. He is also considering solo work.

He said that the other members of the band were his four best friends and his departure was nothing to do with them.

The five-piece boyband were formed in 1999 and hit the top of the charts with their first single 'Swear It Again'.

They were the only act to reach number one with their first seven singles and eleven out of the band's first 13 singles entered the chart at number one.

Their fourth studio album, 'Turnaround', was released last November.

Westlife start a tour of Ireland and the UK on 29 March with a show at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.