Abs Fab!
Mizz, August 2002

The cheeky one's back - and this time he's single...

Fact File

Name: Richard "Abs" Breen
Age: 23
Star Sign: Cancer
Occupation: Singer/songwriter
Lives: East London
Mobile phone ring: Mr Loverman by Shabba Ranks
Had first kiss at: "Six. It was a peck on the cheek with a girl called Janita."
How his best mate'd describe him: "Someone who's up for anything and enjoys watching The Chipmunks every week."
How his last girlfriend'd describe him: "Lovely - I hope! And generous."
Last serious girlfriend: "Danielle Brent (she played Gina in Hollyoaks). We went out for four-and-a-half years."
Current status: "Single and looking for a girl to party with. Oh, and to read Mizz with..."

Right then. Are you good boyfriend material?
I think so. Dunno whether it's necessarily a good thing but, when I've got a serious girlfriend, I'm very devoted. It's a case of being into her and nothing else, which can be a pain for my friends. I suppose I become a bit obsessed.

Nowt wrong with that! Describe your perfect girl...
Oh, I ain't got one. I used to be really into blondes up until a couple of years ago, but now I'm up for anything. I do like a girl with a bit of attitude who's got her own style. Someone who's cool and will go with the flow. I'm not really into loud girls.

So who's hot in celebsville?
Holly Valance is looking good right now. I bumped into her a while back but she was with someone. I thought it might have been her lad, so I backed away.

We might get jealous here, but which gals are you close to?
My ex-girlfriend's mum, Valerie, is lovely. Even though Dan and me split up two years ago, Valerie still drops me a line now and again to keep in touch. She's wicked. My aunt's cool too - she lives in Australia.

Do girls puzzle you?
Yeah, you girls are still fuzzy in my eyes - I still can't work you lot out! I guess your obsession for shoes is quite strange. Apart from that, I'm kinda cool with everything else. All in all, I love ya.

Had any dating disasters?
No, but then I don't really go on dates as such. If I see a girl and she's nice, we get chatting and arrange to hook up another time. There's no cinema or anything - it's all pretty casual. And, no, I don't use cheesy chat-up lines. Pur-lease.

Okay, pick somewhere for your dream date...
It'd have to be somewhere hot. I've done the Maldives before, which were amazing, so a girl'd definitely dig that. We'd just lie on the beach, chilling.

Are you into springing surprises on people?
Very much so, but I'm not the type to do stuff just cos it's a special occasion. I wouldn't go, 'Oh, it's your birthday, I've got to buy you summat.' I prefer being more spontaneous and just turning up with little pressies.

Like what?
Jewellery or filling a room with flowers. When I was going out with Danielle, I bought her a Mercedes car.

Wow, romantic!
Nah, that's not romantic, that's just a surprise. For me, romance is all about the little things you say and do when your girlfriend's not expecting it - not coming home with a massive teddy bear. You can't beat saying something with feeling.

You're too good to be true! Are you a real gent as well?
Yeah, I'm all into opening doors and paying the bill. I don't throw my coat over puddles, though. You've gotta draw the line somewhere.

What about bad habits? Smelly feet and all that...
No, I'm pretty hygienic. I don't go picking my nose and flicking it at anyone. I'd say my worst habit's rhyming complete gibberish when my mates come round. It gets on their nerves but I'm only getting inspiration for my music.

Ever serenaded a girl with a choon?
Once. My guitar was lying around and the lass I was with asked me to sing something. So I played this Paul Weller song that goes, 'You do something to me...' She was well impressed but it wasn't a planned thing. Don't think I set it all up!

Night in with a girl or night out with the lads?
That's a tough one cos I love 'em both. I'd have to say it'd depend what mood I'm in.

If you stayed in, would you let her pick the vid?
No probs. I love all kinds of films so I don't mind watching soppy, lovey-dovey flicks. Or an action one, whatever. We wouldn't even have to go down the video shop - I've got over 1,000 DVDs so she could just take her pick.

Kissing on first dates - cool with you?
Definitely. But I'd leave it there. The cool bit is to take things slowly.

How long do you leave it before calling a girl?
If I'm at a party and I get a girl's number who I really like, I'd call her later that night. Not that I'm trying to sound desperate or anything, I'd just wanna make sure she was okay about going out sometime. I have to admit that, in the past, I've taken girls' numbers and never rung 'em. And a couple of times I've met up with a girl and just stayed for a quick drink cos she's not been what I was expecting. I've had to go, 'It's been cool and everything but I've gotta be somewhere else now.' Horrible, I know...

We'll let you off. Would you try and change a girl?
No way. Just cos she's not right for me doesn't mean somebody else wouldn't like her just the way she is.

Lastly, what makes a good relationship?
Trust and having fun. When you're going out with someone you can't take stuff too seriously. If you get stressed out over silly things and hassling each other, you'll tear yourselves apart.

The story so far...
...We couldn't natter to Abs and not mention his glory days with Five. We got him to fill in the gaps since that teary day last September...

After we split, I spent two months doing nothing. I was watching too much daytime TV, so was glad when Five's old producers rang to say they'd like to work with me again. We wrote some songs, played them to Simon Cowell and the record company and now I'm ready to go.

Must be cool being the first to go solo...
Yeah. A lot of people were expecting J or Ritch to do it first. They were always the ones on the front of newspapers with their celebrity girlfriends.

What are they doing now?
I don't really know. I think J's breeding goldfish, Ritch owns a newsagents and Sean's selling roses - 10 for 3! Scott came to my birthday recently, which was wicked, but I'm not really in touch with them.

Do you miss 'em?
A little, yeah. But now, when I'm on stage, I've got six beautiful girls dancing with me. No doubt about it, they're a lot better to look at than four lads with stubble.