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In December of the same year, he along with fellow Boyzone buddy, Shane, released a cover of Milli Vanilli’s ‘Girl you know it’s true’ with their own added lyrics which saw them poking fun at several pop acts. The boys themselves said it was all in jest as the music industry took itself too seriously at the time. They in no way meant to offend anyone! The song itself reached number 36 in the charts.
March 2001 saw Keith participate in the first Celebrity Big Brother in aid of Comic Relief. He finished third out of a possible six, but still managed to stay in the house for the full seven days. Celebrity Big Brother had put him into the public’s consciousness as a man in his own right and had made people within television sit up and listen.
Next, Keith auditioned for the role of Joe Carter in Britain’s longest running soap; ‘Coronation Street.’ Disappointment ensued as he was turned down for the part but a little while later; Keith learned that the people at corrie were so impressed with his screen test, they'd written the part of Ciaran McCarthy especially for him. What was meant as a three week stint turned into three years between 2002 and 2005; during his time on the show, Keith’s character tried to bed Shelly, bedded Shelly’s mum, Bev and nearly married Sunita! Not forgetting his attempts to run a restaurant and his relationship with evil Tracy Barlow. He also became a bit of a hero when he saved Dev from his burning flat. All that and he pulled pints in one of the most famous pubs in the country; The Rover’s Return!
Ciaran left Weatherfield when Shelly couldn’t see what a badden Charlie Stubbs was; in real life Keith left the show to be closer to his family in Ireland.
At 18 months, Keith’s daughter Mia was diagnosed with autism. He found it hard to come to terms with at first, saying when he found out; ‘I hadn’t cried like that in years, I was like a child; I couldn’t catch my breath.’ To cope, Keith threw himself into charity work for the condition, passionately believing that all autistic children deserve better treatment and education. Keith became the patron of the Irish Autism Action and regularly holds fundraising events for the cause and has given talks to raise awareness of the disorder.
Mia, who Keith calls his little princess, is now in mainstream school thanks to one-to-one teaching at a school in Ireland that uses the Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). And in May of 2008, Mia made her first Holy Communion, which is something Keith and Lisa, at one stage never thought possible.
In 2005, Keith took to the stage for the first time in a play called ‘Dandelions’ at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre as a character named, Damien. Appearing alongside him was Pauline McClynn; well known for her role as Mrs Doyle in ‘Father Ted’ and the infamous line ‘Go on, go on, go on..!’ The play itself was a success and scored a second run in the following year.
December of ’05 saw him take to a much smaller stage in Weymouth’s Pavilion Theatre on the south coast of England. Keith played THE Wizard in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in his first foray into panto.
Written & Researched by Leonie Stevens