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Antony Costa and his Blue bandmates re-formed in 2009 after a four-year hiatus. Their success on ITV’s The Big Reunion has since led to a new single, album and a forthcoming UK tour. The 31-year-old talks to Shereen Low about being back with the boys and dealing with insults

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE BACK?

It feels so good. I feel 19 again, when we were starting out. I remember when we first started back in 2001, doing interviews and photo shoots and going to parties and it’s great to be a part of it again, 10 years on. The banter’s back, I’m with my three best mates, working and enjoying myself, performing songs that I used to do back in the day with new ones that are on the album. It’s just so good to be doing it all over again.

THE BIG REUNION HELPED TO KICK IT ALL OFF. WHY DO IT?

The Big Reunion has been a massive factor in our comeback. It has shown people that we’re back. It’s an amazing platform. There’s no music shows any more, there’s no Top Of The Pops or Saturday morning shows such as CDUK, SMTV or Live & Kicking, so if you’re a new band, where are you going to promote your music? All Saturday morning is now is how to make a risotto. And Blue wouldn’t have a chance if we’re up against Rihanna, Usher, Ne-Yo and people like this who go on The X Factor.

SOME OF THE OTHER BANDS DIDN’T SEEM TOO PLEASED ABOUT BLUE BEING BACK INITIALLY...

We wanted to go and have a good time with the other bands we grew up with when we were first around - Liberty X, Atomic Kitten, 5ive. We didn’t really know the B*Witched girls or 911. We’ve got no egos - we’re just so pleased to be a part of it and to do what we love doing.

IS THERE ANY RIVALRY BETWEEN YOU AND 5IVE?

I love them boys. I knew Scott (Robinson) from when we were kids on the audition circuit, so we’ve got history there. It should be about enjoying yourself, and not having rivalries where people say, ‘You’re boybands, you’re supposed to hate each other’. It’s rubbish, you know?

TELL ME ABOUT THE NEW ALBUM, ROULETTE.

It’s experiences we’ve all had over the years when Blue were apart, and coming together to create an evolved Blue sound, while keeping the classic sound.

PRESUMABLY YOU’LL PERFORM SOME OF THE OLDIES ON TOUR?

Absolutely, yes. Listen, if it wasn’t for the oldies, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you now. You’ve got to be able to please the people that remember you from back in the day. I love performing old songs such as One Love, All Rise and Fly By.

WERE THERE EVER DOUBTS ABOUT REUNITING, BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T OFFICIALLY SPLIT?

No, never any doubt. We’ve always stayed friends and we always supported each other. The boys came and saw me when I was performing on the West End in Blood Brothers, I went to see Simon (Webbe) in Sister Act, Duncan (James) in Legally Blonde and Lee (Ryan) in his solo stuff as well. Ten years on, we got asked to do Eurovision and it just felt right.

HOW DID YOU DEAL WITH THE NEGATIVE COMMENTS YOU ENCOUNTERED IN BLUE?

I’ve learned to grow a thick skin. It’s life, you carry on and you move on.

Blue’s new single Hurt Lovers is out now. They are performing at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on May 3, with further dates in October.