The Real 5ive

Introduce yourself... I'm Ritchie from 5ive and I'm one helluva nice guy! My mum calls me Ritchie when she's in a good mood. But when she's in a bad mood, it's (in a badtempered voice) 'Richard!'

What's the best cure for a broken heart?
I think you need a bit of time alone to cry. You get it all out of your system. You might be sat there, thinking 'I need her', but you can survive. Talking from my own experience, my mum was away at the time and I was at home on my own, but then I gave it about a week and I started to go out with my mates. Suddenly, I'd find myself thinking, 'What was I so down about?'

How old were you when you lost your virginity?
(Shocked) Ooooooh, that's a bit of a saucy one! I don't know if I should tell you the truth...OK, I was 14. The first time, I just couldn't believe I'd done it and I just kept saying to myself 'Wow!' I had a permanent grin on my face, but (smiling) the second time was a lot better.

Talk us through the perfect kiss...
It's spontaneous. At first, you're not quite sure, then there comes a moment when you both look at each other. It's at that moment you either do it or, if you don't, you spoil the chance. (Shudders) At that moment, just glide on in there and that's it, go for it.

Have you got any girlfriend regrets?
No. When I was younger, I was quite ruled by who I was going out with at the time. But now, if they start on me, I just think, 'If you're gonna be like that, I can't be bothered. Talk to me when you're in a better mood.' In my younger days, I would have just taken it all.

Does it bother you when people joke about you being posh?
(Looks chuffed) I suppose I quite like it 'cos it makes me a bit sophisticated! No, it doesn't bother me at all.

Do you ever use your position to get what you want?
Erm (Thinks for a bit) Well, you never hear me saying, 'Do you know who I am?' But when I went to Madame Tussaud's a couple of months ago, I did get someone to phone up to say I was coming and ask if they could make sure I was looked after. I missed the queue and everything! I felt a bit bad 'cos it was quite a long queue, but I was like, 'Nah, I'm gonna do it anyway', haha!

When things get you down, which of the other fivesters do you turn to first?
I suppose J's the person I'd go to if I was seeing a girl, 'cos he's got a few years on the rest of us. He's lived with a girl, so he sees things slightly differently. At the end of the day, I could talk to any of them, though.

What effect has the fame had on your family?
Well, my nan is the proudest nan on the earth! She's quite old and she just sits indoors and phones my mum and asks, "When's Ritchie on the TV next and when's he doing this?". My mum takes her all the pictures from the magazines and she absolutely loves it. It's brought my mum a lot of happiness, but it's also brought her a lot of stress because she worries about me. On the whole, though, everyone's chuffed to bits.

What about the fans...Do they ever visit your mum's pub?
Yeah, they're getting quite inundated, actually. When it was my birthday, they kept phoning up, saying, "Oh, we thought Rich might be there." It's getting a bit much now.

Has anything you've said in an interview ever got you into trouble?
Yeah! There was something in another magazine. I was talking about our lyrics and I said, 'They're quite shallow, really. They're more about singing along and having fun rather than sitting back and chillin' out to.' We've got some great songs, but all I was saying was that they're not earth-changing, meaningful lyrics. They changed the context of how I said it and made out I was just slating our songs. It didn't get me into trouble as such, but it made me think, 'Why have they done that?'

Does your jaw ever ache from too much smiling?
Ha ha ha! Nah, I'm a smiley, happy person. You'll catch me on days when I'm not - like, if there's anybody I'm not getting on with, that gets me down. I don't like friction. Saying that, if someone oversteps the mark, I'm not afraid to say so. Then they can say their piece and that's it sorted.

Are you in this job for the money?
It would be so silly of me to say I'm NOT in it for the money. Everyone does a job to earn money, but it's not the be-all and end-all. I'd rather be happy and poor than rich and miserable. And I'd rather be poor but in love with someone who loves me back. That's all that matters to me. As for being in it for the fame... it's not so much the fame as the performing and the art of it. I eventually want to go on to do some acting. I also want to be more involved with the creative side of things. I'm slowly making plans!

How do you cope with fans who are pushy and forward?
Sometimes, they pinch my bum and I'm not into it, so I'll start by turning round and going, 'Oi!'. Then, if they carry on, I'll go to our tour manager Rob, 'Tell her, Rob!'. (Angrily) I know it might only be them pinching your bum, but it's not on, you know? I'm a person and they're invading my space.

What do you see when you look at the mirror?
Hah! When I walk past a mirror and I realize it's there, I'll go back and pull stupid faces. I think most people do it. I remember a few years ago, I was in my room and I was sat on the edge of my bed, pulling all these evil faces. It was really dim in the room and I ended up scaring myself! I went to bed and I was like...(Takes deep breaths.) It was like Chucky (an evil little doll) from the film "Child's Play"!

If you had kids, what would call them?
I've always liked the name Danielle, and I like Sophie too. Well, I DID, but I might be going off that. As for boys' names, I can't think of any I like. But I definitely want one of each, and any more's a bonus.

What's the meaning of life?
Well, this is the sort of thing I think about a lot in my own time. For a start, what is the point? Why are we here doing this right now? What is this planet? And also, if you think about the planet, I know it's just gravity, but how DOES the water stay on? What IS gravity exactly? And then you've got the universe, but how can you comprehend something that goes on for ever? And then...(looks mega confused) if it DOES end somewhere - say, if the universe is this big ball - what happens when it does end? What goes on past the boundary? Is it just a wall? But then, if it is a wall, what's on the other side? Haha! Do you know what I mean?