RTE viewers praised Westlife ‘good guy’ star Mark Feehily as he explained how he was treated in the music industry because of his weight.
The singer revealed on the Late Late Show that his weight has always fluctuated since he was in school.
But when he became a member of Westlife, his form was emphasized more frequently, especially before television appearances.
He said: “I really never liked having the camera on me. I’ve loved photography since I was a kid, but being in front of the camera is different.
“I was just aware of my weight, my weight was always fluctuating.
“I fluctuate in and out of being a bit overweight, not really overweight or something, but I’ve always fluctuated in and out of that.
“I was in a school for boys and it reminds you very quickly…Nicknames come from any little thing that is different about you.
“All I can describe is when the camera is on you… It was like a weight on my face. I felt like it was wrong.
“It was a built-in thing that didn’t feel natural to me at all.
“That, and look it’s the music industry, things are a little different now but back then people would have no problem telling you, ‘you’re fat, lose weight,’ right before you’re in front of the camera.”
Mark explained that he was unaware of his weight until it was brought to his attention.
He told Ryan Tubridy: “Oh yeah, absolutely. I’m describing my experience, I guess.
“It’s like, ‘There’s 14 million people about to watch you now and you’re fat’.
“So it’s not great. I was like, ‘You know what I forgot about that until you told me.’
“I was just ready to go sing and then suddenly someone called you back.
“I’m pretty comfortable in my skin, it’s only when people tell me that and I think there are a lot of people like that.
“And now, instead of being someone in the record industry or something, it’s Instagram or it’s Twitter.”
He also recalled an unpleasant moment when he opened a magazine that focused on his stomach during a tennis match.
He said: “It just destroyed me. It was like half-Westlife, well not half-Westlife, but we were pretty much in our flow at that point.
“I guess it’s something that’s always been a part of my life since I was a teenager.
“A lot of things have changed and we don’t accept this stuff anymore. It’s no longer considered acceptable.”
Viewers flocked to Twitter to praise the singer for his honesty.
Marie said: “Great interview and performance by @MarkusFeehily on the #latelateshow, his fans will know he’s not very comfortable doing interviews so doing this for the rights of families through the surrogacy was great to see.”
Aoife added: “People can be so awful. Comments about Mark’s appearance are so useless. He looks unreal. He has a great voice and is very talented. If you don’t like someone , you really don’t need to be *announced* about this #LateLateShow.”
Another fan said, “Mark Feehily is a wonderful human being. It was a great interview. #latelate #latelateShow @westlifemusic.”
Dorothy wrote: “Love @MarkusFeehily. One of the good guys. #latelate #LateLateShow Nice talk and nice song.”