However, Danny O’Donoghue sent fans into a frenzy when he was recently spotted in public with a mystery woman on his arm.
Now he has revealed to the
that she is a Frenchwoman named Anais Naing, who he has been seeing for two years.
“It’s funny because we spent longer together in lockdown than we did in real life,” he said. “She’s from Brittany in France. She’s an events manager aged 27, who has been living in the English capital for seven years.
“Some of our new songs may very well be in French, as she’s been teaching me the language, je t’aime.”
Their paths quite literally crossed when they met on the street.
“We actually live in the same part of London, and up until now we’ve mainly just been hanging out at home.”
Pressed on whether his mother has given her seal of approval, the singer replied: “My mum loved her, and they offered her lots of tea.
“I’ve already taken Anais to a place in Co Wicklow for the past two Septembers, and the place we visited had a beach, but there wasn’t any wi-fi – and you’re not going to get more rural than that.”
But asked about any wedding plans, he laughs. “Ah, come on. Don’t be putting me under that kind of pressure. This is our first event out together – I don’t want it to be the last.”
Speaking of Ireland, the Dubliner continued: “I spent a year away from home during the lockdown and the thing I missed the most was my family, and Superquinn sausages.
“Although I’ve probably been outside Ireland longer than I’ve been living in it. I lived in New York for 10 years, and the UK for 13.”
judge, who worked alongside will.i.am on the BBC talent show, also revealed that the two pop stars are still in touch.
He said: “I’m basically living in an apartment in a recording studio that he wants to buy. I can’t tell you where it is though,” he swiftly follows up.
“I told Will that since I’m residing in the apartment now, he can stay over.
“But I kind of regret offering now because he’s going to play the music so loud that we’ll end up getting kicked out.”
Yesterday, O’Donoghue told the
about how lockdown had helped him re-evaluate his life and relationships.
“There are a lot of things that I did in my life in order to get there… missing out on weddings and people’s birthdays and anniversaries, a lot of missed phone calls, not calling back, not texting back, that kind of vibe.
“It was because I really was besotted with making this band as big as I possibly could to show my family that I’m worthy of it, to show the haters ‘f*** you, I can do it’.
“I look like I love myself, but do I even f***in’ like myself? That was the main one for me, do I even like myself?
“And slowly but surely I started to strip away the things in my life that were questionable. I then spent a lot of time mending bridges.
“It’s almost like a bucket list in a way, almost like a 12 steps thing where you have to write down everybody you ever offended and call them and tell them you’re sorry.
“It’s the only way you’ll get those ghosts gone. I had almost like a funeral state of mind, where I didn’t want to wait for somebody to pass away to tell them how you feel, or to sit there and regret and say you’re sorry for something.”
While he put a lot of energy into the band during his younger days, he added: “I’m older now and I look at my brothers and sisters and they have amazing home lives, they’ve got beautiful children that they’ve raised amazingly in a tough world, and they have come out on top themselves.”