Come Back Kid!
TOTP, August 2002

With one mighty fling, Abs has thrown himself back into the pop world - and this time he's ready for anything! Welcome back, fella!

Now Abs are you really sure you want to sign up for this pop lark again - early mornings, no privacy...?

Actually, you're right - I'm off! (Gets up to go then quickly sits back down) Nah, course I do. I didn't want to leave all this in the first place. I'm just glad to be here, to be honest. This is like my second chance and I'm so chuffed I've been given it. I'm on an appreciation trip now, man. I wanna do every interview - I've got a story to tell!

So the DJ-ing didn't take off, then?
Ha-ha! DJ-ing is kinda one of those things I've got to fall back on! I still do a bit though.

Come on, Abs, why don't you just sit back, relax and spend all your cash? Surely you don't need to go out and work!
I could do, I suppose, but it's not what drives me. I did get a bit bored, too. When the band broke up, I was just watching Trisha and Bargain Hunt for months and doing nothing! I mean Trisha is good, but I'm hungry to be on stage and perform - I needed to get back out there.

Are you gonna drop all this Abs business now that you're free to call yourself Richard?
Ha-ha! Nah, man, cos everybody just knows me as Abs. Richard (Abs' real first name) was my mum's way of trying to make me sound posh, but it didn't really work, ha-ha! The funny thing is in Germany and some other countries there's already an Abs - they're some kind of metal band! So I've got to change my name to Abs B when I go over there. It's a bit cheesy but it has to be that way.

Are you scared you could end up being a Stephen Gately rather than a Ronan Keating?
Ha-ha! I'm not looking at anyone else's career. I mean everyone says that the first person out of the band is the one with the most success - like Robbie and Ronan - so fingers crossed. But I'm not looking at them as a way to go. I just wanna go out there and start fresh - just do my own thing. Hopefully I'll be successful.

What's the secret to bouncing back?
(Scratches his head several times, obviously deep in thought considering his answer) The secret is you've got to have a pet hen! That's the God's honest truth. Cos every Friday at about four in the morning when the sun's aligned with Jupiter, the chicken talks and tells you the secret of bouncing back! That's where the other guys screwed up!

Er, if you say so. Speaking of birds, are your cockatiels, Kiwi and Banana still chirpy?
Yes, ha-ah! My mum still has them, man. I can't believe you remember them! Fact is, though, I haven't seen them for a while, which is a bit naughty. But they're still alive and they haven't been stuffed and hung on the ceiling or anything - yet!

How do you think the pop scene's changed since youve been away?
To be honest, I think it's got a bit boring. It's been slacking a bit.

Good job you've come along to spice things up then! But won't you miss being part of a band - who are you gonna fight with now?
I'm not gonna miss it, actually. Well, I will miss things like coming down in the morning when we've been away, and catching up with the guys and just being around each other.

So what will you do differently this time?
Good question! I think I'll just appreciate things more. Not that I didn't before, but you do get kinda complacent and used to a certain lifestyle. Then all of a sudden - bam! You're not going to work in the morning. I've lost it all once before, so I appreciate it all the more now!