After 14 years of peddling drippy, some might say “excruciating” ballads, squillion-selling boyband Westlife will split once they have completed their upcoming UK tour.

Though sources have cited an “irreparable rift”, the quartet of Kian Egan, 31, Mark Feehily, 31, Nicky Byrne, 33, and Shane Filan, 32 claim the split is “amicable”.

“The decision is entirely amicable and after spending all of our adult life together so far, we want to have a well-earned break and look at new ventures,” the band said in a statement.

“Over the years Westlife has become so much more to us than just a band. Westlife are a family. We would like to thank our fans who have been with us on this amazing journey.”

“We are really looking forward to getting out on the tour and seeing them one last time.”

However despite the harmonious public showing, a source told the Mirror that the band had serious creative rifts. “Mark was keen to go in a more upbeat, credible and less poppy direction. Shane and Kian, however, were of the opinion ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Gradually the guys realised it was about time to call it a day,” the source said.

The band, originally a fivesome until Brian McFadden left in 2004, boast 44 million record sales worldwide and 26 top ten hits.

Westlife’s  final tour begins in May next year.