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Thursday, 27 September, 2001, 17:52 GMT 18:52 UK
Boy band Five split up
Five beat 3,000 hopefuls to make the band
Pop band Five have announced that they are splitting up, saying they could "no longer do justice" to their fans or to each other.

The announcement, made live on music channel MTV, ends months of speculation as to their future.

Rumours began when band member Sean Conlon's did not appear in their last video - for the number one hit Let's Dance.

It was announced that he was taking time out to recover from a bout of glandular fever and his place was taken by a cardboard cutout.

The band had a commercial contract with Pepsi
The group - Ritchie Neville, Jason "J" Brown, Richard "Abs" Breen, Scott Robinson and Conlon - said the decision to part had been made after "lengthy discussions".

"We've matured and developed massively as a band over the last three and half years and have also grown as individuals," they said in a statement.

"As the band has got bigger on a global scale, the commitment levels have had to increase and, at times, that has been hard on us really is time to call it a day."

Five also thanked fans for their support.

Their latest album, King Size, was released just a month ago and is at number 31 in the charts.

The band still plan to release a new double A-side single, Closer To Me/Rock The Party, in October.

They have never made any secret of their squabbles but always emphasised their close friendship in spite of them.

No specific reasons were given for the split.

Neville said: "A few things happened, we kept getting a few knocks. We just felt it was done."

"We don't have any immediate plans. We'll assess it over the next few weeks. I think it's just a case of chilling out for a little while," He added.

Billie Piper
Ritchie Neville dated Billie Piper before she married Chris Evans
Robinson has recently had a baby with his girlfriend and is reportedly keen to settle down and spend more time with them.

Earlier this year Ritchie Neville and Jason "J" Brown appeared before an Irish court charged with being drunk and disorderly.

Neville was ordered to pay IR£3,000 (£2,372) for his part in a pub brawl but Brown has yet to face trial after failing to appear at an earlier hearing.

Five enjoyed widespread success in the late 90s with their polished hip-hop inspired sound.

They were hand-picked from 3,000 hopefuls at an audition set up by the creators of the Spice Girls.

Five - also known as 5ive - have won international fame with songs like Slam Dunk Da Funk and When The Lights Go Out.

They were named best pop act at the Brit Awards in 2000 and have sold more than seven million albums worldwide.

The band's love lives have been tabloid fodder for the past four years with Neville providing the majority of the column inches when he was dating teenage popstar Billie Piper, who is now married to Chris Evans.

Should Five have split up?



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