AFTER seven years apart, The Wanted sensationally announced their comeback in a swanky London hotel yesterday.
And while the spirits among the band were high, the reason Tom Parker, Max George, Jay McGuiness, Nathan Sykes and Siva Kaneswaran decided to reunite is far more serious.
In October last year, Tom revealed he had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and since then has publicly shared his journey in a bid to raise awareness around his illness.
To continue his work Tom has joined forces with Stand Up To Cancer to create a new documentary on Channel 4 following his story, along with putting on a star-studded gig at the Royal Albert Hall on September 20.
And who better to perform on the night than The Wanted, who went on hiatus back in 2014. But after the lads agreed to reunite in support of Tom, they decided one gig wasn’t enough and now they will hit the road for a brand new tour across the UK and Ireland.
If that wasn’t enough, they are also releasing two new songs on their upcoming album, Most Wanted — The Greatest Hits. In an exclusive chat about their comeback, Nathan said: “Tom is amazing. Just seeing Tom’s drive to make this show at the Royal Albert Hall as good as it can be and then to prepare to go out on tour — and then seeing him in the studio putting down the perfect vocals, he is inspirational.”
Tom is clearly touched by his bandmates sentiments, telling them: “I will cry — and I don’t want to cry.”
The singer, who has daughter Aurelia, two, and nine-month-old son Bodhi with his wife Kelsey, underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy earlier this year and said in January his tumour had shrunk considerably.
But while he’s been through hell, Tom makes it clear he’s on the up. He said: “The chemo was tough, brutally tough. It strips everything away, the bad and the good — so you have nothing. Your immune system is truly compromised.
“I had nothing, I was so exhausted. I was so happy when it ended. I put that stage to bed. Having the kids here with us now and doing all of this, it is so lovely. When I was really poorly a few months ago, my daughter Aurelia wouldn’t come near me.
“She wouldn’t speak to me. I was poorly and she could tell. Then when I was feeling better, she instinctively knew. She would come up the stairs and call out, ‘Dada!’ and jump into bed with me. She knew she could be more physical and would be rougher with me.
“Now whatever we are doing seems to be working. I am here and I am doing it. I don’t have time to feel shy. Kelsey is giving me a kick. I’m like, ‘Girl, calm down!’” During their five years together, the group bagged two No1 singles, six top-five songs and sold 12million records worldwide.
But towards the end of the union, cracks began to show and their hiatus was announced amid a bitter war of words. The lads vow those days are well behind them, with the group agreeing that the pressure of being pop stars was to blame for pushing them apart.
Siva explained: “We were all so young and discovering the pop industry, Nathan was only 16. It was intense, we were competing against other groups, pushing to get No1s, all while being away from our families. It was so overwhelming. “I think now we’re older, we have steadied ourselves, we have given each other space.”
Now whatever we are doing seems to be working. I am here and I am doing it. I don’t have time to feel shy.
Chiming in, Max continued: “Before we used to just get pissed and fall out. I can’t imagine it being like that for us any more.”
Nathan, the baby of the group, added: “We’re in the same maturity bracket now. Even when the band started, three of the guys were 21, it was like they were babysitting me because I was only 16 years old. It must have been such a weird balance as there were three grown lads looking after a kid.”
Now they are preparing to get back on stage at the iconic London venue for the charity gig, which will also feature performances from Liam Payne, KSI, Becky Hill and Sigrid. As well as singing some of their biggest hits, including All Time Low and Glad You Came, they will perform two new songs — one of which Max says he wrote and recorded as a solo track five years ago.
He explained: “The first song I recorded five years ago and I didn’t want to re-do it because I thought my voice might sound b***s compared to how it sounded back then. Now all our voices are on it, it just feels like us. It is The Wanted 2021.”
With their new songs and greatest hits album out November 12, the lads said they are going to wait until later in the year before deciding if they want to start work on more music. Jay explained: “We’ve got the greatest hits with two new songs, that is all so we can do this tour. And the tour is taking us into February next year.
“We’ll probably sit down to think about [their next move] at Christmas.” Tom added: “By the end of us last time, all the enjoyment and fun had been sucked out of it but now we’re here again, it feels like a laugh. We’re waiting to see where this all goes and what the reaction of the public is, it’s hard to predict but personally I would love to do this.”
KY: IT’S BABY No 2
IT’S been the worst-kept secret in showbiz for the past few months but Kylie Jenner has finally confirmed her second pregnancy.
The US reality star revealed her baby bump in a video alongside boyfriend Travis Scott and their daughter Stormi.
Posting the shoot on her Instagram, Kylie revealed the moment she unveiled her positive pregnancy test to her family, including mum Kris Jenner.
Fans had been speculating she was expecting after recognising some of Kylie’s tactics from her first pregnancy, when she kept out of the public eye until she had given birth.
And last month she was rumbled – after a TikTok user spotted she’d posted an old picture of herself to mark her 24th birthday.
Just 14 hours after sharing the new video online, the clip had been viewed 80million times. Kylie wasn’t kidding when she said it would be a big announcement…
Pride boat party
ALL SAINTS star Melanie Blatt will host a special Pride boat party this Saturday on the Thames.
The singer will join a host of stars to DJ on the water as Southern Comfort celebrates the LGBTQ+ community with a New Orleans-style bash.
MEL OF A FEE
MEL C has signed up for the US version of Strictly – after blasting the pay on offer for the British show.
The Spice Girls star was unveiled as one of the contestants on the new series yesterday and will compete alongside Megan Fox’s ex Brian Austin Green.
Mel previously said she had turned down offers to join the BBC dancing competition because the fee was too low.
She said: “Strictly is really the only one of those shows that I would consider and I have had a meeting with them – they ask me every year to do it. The money’s s**t!” It’s good to hear the Americans are happy to splash the cash.
CUTE, PETE ’N’ KAYLEY
IN upcoming romcom movie Meet Cute, Pete Davidson and Kaley Cuoco's characters fall in love. But life may be imitating art – as I’m told they have become very close pals.
I revealed last month how US comic Pete had split with Bridgerton actress Phoebe Dynevor, as the Saturday Night Live star worked in the States and her in London.
At the time, sources claimed his friendship with American Kayley played a part – in public at least, she was believed to be still happy with husband Karl Cook.
Fast-forward three weeks and Kayley announced her split from Karl after three years’ marriage. In a statement, they said their “paths have taken us in opposite directions”.
Just 24 hours later, she was back at work with Pete holding hands as they took on the roles of Sheila and Gary for the new film, due out next year.
Insiders on Meet Cute, where filming is now largely done, tell me the only direction Kayley seems to be going in is the one leading her back to Pete. One said: “They have got on incredibly well since day one but, as the weeks have passed, it’s clear there is attraction.
"They play a couple in the film and it’s all very romantic. But the chemistry between them is palpable, it’s all people could talk about on set. When the cameras stopped, they’d be cracking jokes, clearly enjoying one another.”
I’m not Mystic Meg, but if these two aren’t more than just good mates in a few months, I’ll eat my words.
RIHANNA'S SOMETHING ELSE
SHE’S famed for bold fashion picks but Rihanna's latest look is something else.
The Bajan superstar was snapped working on her big music comeback in Los Angeles in the early hours in a sheepskin coat which resembled a sheet of pasta being rolled into spaghetti. Rihanna teamed the eye-catching look with a matching bag, hot-pants and headscarf.
While she appeared to want to stay incognito by wearing a colourful mask and sunglasses, she totally failed in her mission thanks to her ridiculous coat.
Earlier this year I revealed how Ri-Ri was preparing to release her ninth album and poised to film a music video in LA with British filmmaker Raja Virdi.
She was snapped working on a top secret project with boyfriend Asap Rocky in July and earlier this week hinted she’d worked with Nicki Minaj as the pair spent an evening at Nicki’s New York home.
Fans have waited for five years to hear what Rihanna’s been busy with and I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait. But as for that coat, I’d leave it at home.
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