DOUGIE'S FIRST POST-REHAB INTERVIEW
COURAGEOUS McFLY star DOUGIE POYNTER has made a triumphant return to boy band life after his shock stint in rehab.
The showbiz world was stunned when I revealed the heartbreaking story that Dougie had entered the Priory earlier this month after struggling to cope with his split from THE SATURDAYS singer FRANKIE SANDFORD.
But on Friday night, before taking to the stage in Sheffield for the delayed launch of the band's national arena tour, Dougie sat down with me for an XSclusive interview about how rehab has improved him.
"It's one of the best things I've ever done in my whole life," he revealed. "I'm still me but it's definitely been very positive."
"I don't know how I've changed. I try not to really think too much about it." And then he burst into a smile and joked: "My hair's gone a bit ma-hoo-sive!" Dougie booked himself into rehab after Frankie started a new relationship with England footballer WAYNE BRIDGE, which knocked him for six.
And since I revealed his plight, she has been subjected to death threats.
Dougie has, sensibly, decided not to mention Frankie anymore, but responding to the threats on her life he said: "It's out of my control really."
But he added: "I think anyone receiving death threats is not a good thing.
I don't support anything like that. I don't wish any bad things upon anybody."
Dougie looks so much happier than the last time I saw him - and he's over the moon to be back with his bandmate "brothers".
But, being McFly, he said that hasn't stopped the teasing! "It's all been a bit strange," Dougie told me. "I cam out and went straight on tour. The only people I've seen have been my mum, my nan and these guys."
"But on the internet everyone's been cool. That feedback has been awesome. I was expecting these guys to have matured a little bit.
"I thought they might have grown up and changed their hair. But no. It was exactly the same."
And then the bassist cheekily added: "I was working on my solo project when I was in rehab. It's just bass!"
Dougie's bandmates reflected on how Dougie's changed. HARRY JUDD said: "He's become quite the philosopher." And TOM FLETCHER added: "Bizzarely he's come out better at maths."
The band went to pick Dougie up from rehab and Tom said: "When he came out I told him he looked like TOM HANKS in Castaway with long hair and a beard."
But Harry then turned serious to explain: "We've grown up together. We've all been through ups and downs. I've been through some real lows but we're always there for each other."
For now, Dougie's only problem is remembering how to play the band's old hits. "I'm messing up Obviously, even though I've been playing it for eight years!" he said.