Heartbreakers

It's that time of the year when even the toughest lad's thoughts turn to love. Turn over as TOTP unlocks the secrets to SCOTT, ABS, RICH, J and Sean's hearts...

J
Are you in love now?
No, unfortunately. I haven't got the time to find anyone.

Have you ever been truly in love?
A few times. When it happens I can't stop thinking about them and I feel sick when I'm away from them. I stop eating and I bore people senseless talking about them all the time.

Describe your kissing technique?
Absolutely superb! Or so I've been told!

Do you give the others love advice?
Yeah. I'm always telling one of them guys (J won't say who...) not to get carried away too soon in a relationship. Sometimes when you first meet someone your blown away by them but then later on you realize they're not quite what you thought.

Has that happen to you?
Not since I've been in the band, but a close friend of mine was seeing a girl and I heard something that made me realise she wasn't right for him. All I could do was offer my advice. People have to learn by their own mistakes.

What's the most romantic thing you've ever done?
I once filled a room with flowers. The girl I was seeing was pretty impressed. I'd love to take a girl to the Caribbean island. We'd have a really nice penthouse room in a lovely hotel with a big four post bed and we'd totally chill out for a couple of weeks.

How far would you go for love?
If I was seriously in love with her then I'd give up anything. Any amount of money or any material object, if it was my real partner, anything. Nothing is more important then love. In fact if I was totally in love with my girlfriend and we've intended to stay together, If I was really forced to make the choice I would die for love. (Blimey!) Definitely.

Are you a dumper or a dumpee?
Usually a dumper and I've been known to do it the coward's way. I'll sort of start acting weird and they'll start acting weird with me, then I'll turn around and say 'You're always arguing with me!' I don't mean it to be like that but that's just how my brain works.

You must meet millions of girls. What makes that special one stand out?
She has to act herself and be down to earth. I can't be doing with false people in any way, shape or form, especially if she thought I was a so-called 'somebody' and started acting differently cos of it.

How far would you go on a first date?
I'd usually end up doing anything, especially if I really liked her. It sounds crazy but sex isn't the first thing on my mind. I'm a guy and I do think about it but if I want to get into a relationship with a girl, it usually doesn't happen for awhile.

Older woman seem to quite like you. Do you fancy the more mature lady?
I've always been into older woman. I'd probably go up to about mid to late forties. Some are absolutely stunning so it doesn't matter how old they are. Also, I really like a date who can stimulate me with a decent conversation and older woman seem to be good at that...I've tried seeing younger girls but we usually end up arguing over petty things!

What do you hope 1999 will bring for you in the love stakes?
Somebody I can love and settle down with coz I feel like I need it now. I've been in serious relationships in the past and I need that stable thing right now. I don't think I want kids, though!

RITCHIE
Are you in love right now?
Ummmm...ermmm... (coyly) there are a few people I like at the moment....

Have you ever been in love?
I think it was a type of love. I was only 16 at the time so people might call it puppy love but we were totally besotted with each other. It was mad, very intense.

How did you know it was love?
We'd known each other for awhile but one night at a party I saw her and boom! Something exploded in my head! It's such a intense feeling, it scares me.

What are you like when you're in love?
I write poems and songs! I'm a really sad person when I'm in love. I'm like 'arrh, all the time!

If you fancy someone, how do you go about getting them?
If I'm not that into the girl, like my whole life didn't depend on it, then I can play it cool! If I really like the person though I'm rubbish, I fumble my words, I trip up and constantly think to myself, "Why did I say that?"

Tell us about your fantasy date?
If you want to get to know each other properly then my flat is a good place to relax. It's nice going out but these days I get hassled when I go out and you just want to chill.

How far would you go on a first date?
As I get older I'm changing a lot. When I was 15 I would have said as far as you can go! (ooh cheeky!) Now days I think it's nice if you don't do anything, maybe just a little kiss.

Where is the strangest place you've ever snogged?
I've snogged all over the place! Probably the most strangest place was down a little alleyway in a town centre - classy bloke, me! I tell you where I'll absolutely love to get smoochy with someone though - under a waterfall!

You and your mum are really close. What would you happen if she really didn't like your girlfriend?
My mum would never say, 'You must not be with her,' She might say 'Look Rich, I haven't spent enough time with her but be wary.' I tend to go out with nice people though. I like people who are straightforward, who don't play games.

What are you hoping 1999 brings you in the love states?
Someone to love! That's it, just someone I really get on with. It's so difficult, we never have time to meet anyone and even if I did it's so hard because I'm not around much. They'd go cold on me because they'd never get to see me!

ABS
Are you in love right now?
Yep!

How did you know you were in love?
Dan and I met at college and every day I'd wake up and think 'Arrrgh, I'm going to see her again today!' and I'd get this feeling in my chest. As the bus got nearer to college I'd be worrying that when I saw her I'd say something really stupid. Songs start to mean things and the world's just a happier place! There are flowers everywhere and the birds are singing, even on the coldest days.

Describe your kissing technique...
Basically you put your finger in your ear and twiddle it and you tick the other person's nose!

How far would you go for love?
I've done stupid things like get off a plane from somewhere, travel up to Liverpool to see Dan for the night and have to get the train back at eight in the morning and start work at lunch time. You don't think about it, you just do it - get on the train and go! Honesty, I would die for love.

What would you call a fantasy date?
Ideally I'd just do as much as I possibly could. Maybe in the morning we'd do a bungee jump and then a tandem skydive. In the afternoon we'd go to Alton Towers and go on all the rides. We'd be able to dodge all the queues because it's a fantasy date right? After that we'd go and buy some parrots and then after all that we'd need to spend the evening chilling out!

How far would you go on a first date?
Just a goodnight kiss. Not on the lips though, just on the cheek.

So, when does the snogging happen?
I don't know, it's difficult to say. It depends on the situation. You can't be too pushy, you've got to be a bit careful.

How early on in a relationship would a girlfriend meet your parents?
Dan met my parents after we'd been together for only a month. Everything went sweet.

What would happen if your parents didn't like your girlfriend?
I'd do the Romeo and Juliet thing. At the end of the day if your parents can't stand the person your going out with, you just have to do whatever is right for you. They don't know your girlfriend like you do. You have to separate the two and find a way of working through it.

What do you hope 1999 will bring you in the love states?
I don't know, I just like to take each day as it comes. I don't plan for the future because it can all go all pear-shaped.

SEAN
Are you in love at the moment?
No.

Have you ever been in love?
That's too deep to go into...

How far would you go for love?
If I was completely in love with someone I'd do anything. There are absolutely no limits when you're in love.

Have you ever cried over a girl?
Yeah. It's a little personal to talk about. It was just one of those times where it's really bad situation and you get really hurt as a result. I suppose it's because you love them so much. (Thoughtfully) Maybe.

On a balance, do you think love's a good thing?
In some ways it's a great feeling but you can also get hurt. When it's there it's good but when it goes away then it's bad.

Do you and the rest of the group ever give each other love advice?
We definitely talk about stuff like that but apart from Abs none of us has really had a girlfriend since we've been in the band so there hasn't been that much to discuss.

What would the one special girl do to make her stand out from the rest?
I don't know because you don't know who's going to be the ideal one for you until you meet them. I mean, you might have an idea in your head but you're never going to find someone that's completely lives up to the idea because, at the end of the day, it's just a dream.

How soon in a relationship would you take a girlfriend home to see your family?
When I felt they were the right one. Once I felt that way about a girl then I'd take them back to meet the family.

So only someone special would get to go back to Leeds to meet the rellies?
No, but if I feel she's the right one, I'd take her home and explain why I'd brought her back.

But what if she didn't get on with your family?
She would!

You've said in previous interviews that you get bored easily in relationships...
I only get bored when I know they're not the right one. If a girl plays games then I get bored and just leave it alone. Similarly if a girl plays hard to get then I leave it. I can tell if someone's interested even if they're playing hard to get, but I think game-playing in relationships is a waste of time.

Does it worry you that potential girlfriends might only be interested in you because you're a pop star?
It doesn't worry me at all because I've got a little secret talent! It's something that comes from my upbringing but I can just tell when people are genuine. I can tell when someone's not straight up, I can see through people.

What do you hope 1999's going to bring you in the love stakes?
I don't know. I don't really have dreams and wishes when it comes to love. Whatever day or time it happens, it'll happen. You can't plan it.

SCOTT
Straight to the point, Scott - are you in love?
Nah! I'm in love with my job.

Have you ever been in love?
Oooh, urrh, (looks very embarrassed) I don't know. Maybe once but I don't think it was real love.

How do you think being in love should feel?
Your girlfriend should be the first person you think about when you wake up. You should phone her even if you've got nothing to say. A hug with her should be the most amazing thing ever and a kiss should be like nothing else you've experienced before. My girlfriend will be the most important person in my life.

Describe your kissing technique.
It's not just a case of (sticks his tongue out of his mouth and wiggles it around) Mwah, mwah! It's the feeling behind the kiss that counts. A sparkle, like an energy, going between you.

What are you like when you fancy someone?
I'm the mushiest person. I cry, I...well...I'm...(really struggling to express what he really means, then giggling) I'm really nice! Trouble is, nice guys always get dumped on, but I'm not going to be a bad lad coz that's what girls like. One day I'll find a girl who likes me acting nice.

How far would you go for love?
That's hard cos I don't know how I'll feel when I fall totally in love. I don't know whether I'd give up my job, travel across the world.

Who's your romantic role model?
I like to think as myself as very individual. There aren't many people like me cos, whether people believe me or not, I would never ever cheat on a girl. If I have a girlfriend I don't even look at other woman.

How far would you go on a first date?
(A cheeky smirk flashed across Scott's face.) Depends how I'm feeling - you know, whether it's love at first site or not. Nah, I'd say just a kiss on the first date. I'm a gentleman.

How soon should you introduce a girlfriend to your mum?
Never! She'd be put off for life. No, I'm only joking. Maybe two months. It would depend how quickly the relationship had developed.

What's your mum like with your girlfriends?
Well...(pauses in shame!) I've taken girls home and mum's been so horrible to them! She'll tell me outright 'I don't like that girl!' 'I don't like that girl!' Other times I've split up with someone and mum's said 'Oh, but I really liked her.'

Where would be your ideal snog location?
Stuck in a lift or in a cosy cabin in Sweden. Anywhere so as long as it's not in front of other people. My friends Leah and Scott do that a lot and it's disgusting.

Describe your fantasy date.
I'd travel into the future with my date and show her we could stay together. Then I'd travel back into the past through my life and show her I really haven't done all that much wrong. She'd know she's not with a complete git and finally I'll be trusted by the girl.

Are you never trusted then?
(Quietly) No one's gonna trust me. I'm in a band.

Finally, what do you hope '99 will bring you in the love stakes?
Everything that I've mentioned in this interview. Except the dumping and crying!


LOVE IS...
Rich: beautiful, intense, something you don't know until you've been there. It hurts but it's worth it!
Sean: Absolutely impossible to define because it's just a feeling.
Abs: ?! (clearly love's too confusing for Abs!)
J: Absolutely, wondrously superb if it's right!
Scott: Hard work and special.