IT has been six years since popstar Kevin Simm took to the stage with his chart-topping band Liberty X.
In the early 2000s, the five-piece group enjoyed a string of successes including a number one single and a Brit Award.
And now, after laying low for the past few years, Kevin is gearing himself up for a special performance with his bandmates.
Kevin, a former Runshaw College student who lives with his wife Laura and 14-month-old son Charlie in Whittle-le-Woods, has signed up to take part in ITV2’s new show, The Big Reunion.
“It’s all a bit surreal,” he said. “We’ve been doing photo shoots with OK magazine and appearing on Lorraine’s morning show.
“We used to do that sort of stuff loads back in the day, but I feel a bit star-struck now because I watch Lorraine everyday with my son at home.”
Kevin, who has been running his own photography business since the band split, shot to fame with Liberty X in 2001 after they were formed on the talent show Popstars.
In 2002, the group had a number one single with Just a Little, which also bagged them a Brit award in 2003 for Best British Single.
They went their separate ways in 2007 after their last two albums didn’t do as well as their first, but after being approached by ITV2 for the comeback concert, they have agreed to re-form.
Along with other old favourites, including Atomic Kitten and Five, the group is set to perform as part of a sell-out concert at the London Hammersmith Apollo on February 26, following a fly-on-the-wall documentary which started on TV last week.
“It did take us all a while to decide whether we wanted to do it again,” Kevin said.
“We’ve kept in touch over the years and we’re still friends, but we’ve never looked at getting back together as a band.
“The main reason we held back was because we’ve got young children now, but we realised the schedule probably won’t be as hectic this time round.
“I just thought it would be fun and something a bit different. It’s a chance to be a popstar a second time round, and I thought it would be a good way of providing for my family.”
He added: “After The Big Reunion, we might look to do some small gigs as Liberty X, but it won’t be as full-on as before.”
Kevin has lived a more low-key lifestyle since the group split, and has enjoyed doing wedding photography as part of his business venture.
He has continued to perform around his hometown though, and took to the stage at the Chorley Little Theatre as part of the Guardian’s charity talent show in December 2011, and says it’s great to get back to doing what he once loved so much.
“It has been really good and we’re having a laugh with the other bands,” he said.
“It’s been a bit weird at times, but it’s cool.
“I’m having to adjust from being a solo act again, and I’ve changed a lot since last time.
“The dance routines aren’t really my style anymore, but you just have to suck it up.”
He also admitted it makes ‘good TV’ when people are honest about their feelings, and says he ‘doesn’t hold back’ in the documentary.
“I didn’t say too much when I was in the band,” he revealed.
“But I think I managed to put my personalty across in this show.”
Kevin has put his photography business on hold because he doesn’t know what the next few months will bring, but he will still be surprising wedding guests on a few occasions this year, as he’s promised to complete the jobs already booked.
He added: “The reunion experience has been a bit intense at times. It was difficult being away from my wife and son for the few weeks I was in London filming the TV show and rehearsing.
“Laura is really excited but she’s a very private person.
“I’m mainly doing this for my family, and it’s good that things are back to normal for the time being, while we wait for the big show at the end of February.”