Steps dream of ABBA duet and admit they are 'banned' from the Eurovision Song Contest

By Seamus Duff

Steps are back with a new album, dreams of duetting with ABBA – but admit they have banned themselves from entering the Eurovision Song Contests.

The pop group – consisting of Lee Latchford-Evans, Claire Richards, Lisa Scott-Lee, Faye Tozer and Ian "H" Watkins – unleashed their seventh studio album last Friday.

The band – who first burst onto the music scene way back in 1997 with there debut single 5, 6, 7, 8 – had intended for new album, What the Future Holds Pt. 2, to be a remix album of last years’ Number 2 record What the Future Holds.

But they ended up recording 10 brand new tracks and re-recording four stripped back versions of previous songs in order to release a ’sequel’ record instead.

The group are making their return to the music world in the wake of news that iconic Swedish pop group ABBA are returning to the charts with a new album of their own later this year.

Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, 45-year-old H said he would love to join forces with ABBA to form a super-group.

He joked: “I want a project where Steps join forces with ABBA. We could be a super-group called STABBA.”

Steps would love to form a super-group with newly reformed Swedish band ABBA (Baillie Walsh)

Steps paid tribute to ABBA in 1999 when they worked with Billie Piper, B*Witched, Cleopatra and Tina Cousins in the medley single Thank ABBA For The Music which included segments from Take a Chance on Me, Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia, and Thank You for the Music and reached number 4 in the charts.

The single was released to coincide with the opening of stage musical Mama Mia! – which went on to become a smash hit movie starring Meryl Streep in 2008.

While ABBA enjoyed success across the world, partly following their music being exposed to a huge audience via the Eurovision Song Contest, Steps have vowed to never represent the UK at the annual music contest.

Explaining that they have banned themselves from the show, 45-year-old Faye said: “When we have worked so hard to have people take us seriously, and not laugh, to be told: ‘Nil point’ would be such a shame.

“H loves Eurovision and is keen, but I don’t want us to do it.”

And 44-year-old Claire agreed, adding: “It would be an incredible experience. But there are a lot of reasons not to.”

Meanwhile, 45-year-old Lisa suggested the band are pinching themselves that they are still relevant.

The group are back with their brand new album and UK arena tour (steps)

She gushed: “We never thought we’d be here 24 years on, talking about a new album and a new tour. It’s incredible so much has come from one single deal all those years ago. We feel very blessed to have had the support we’ve had.”

As well as releasing new music, Steps are set to hit the road with a UK Arena Tour kicking off in November.

The show will take in dates in Belfast, Cardiff, Manchester, London and more – with tickets on sale now via Steps’ official website.


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