HE was the heartthrob of 90s pop, but now Marti Pellow looks remarkably different from his Wet Wet Wet days.
The singer turned actor, 57, from Clydebank, shocked fans as sported dreadlocks while appearing in his new panto role in Dick Whittington.
It’s a far cry from Marti’s short hair and stubble when the band’s major hit Love Is All Around spent 14 weeks at the top of the UK charts.
The Troggs cover song – used in the soundtrack to Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994 and re-mastered by Bill Nighy on Love Actually in 2003 – catapulted the Scottish band into the limelight.
Although they never had the same success, the band is still going now, but as a trio including former Liberty X member Kevin Simms.
Only two members remain – Graeme Clarke and Graeme Duffin – while Marti, Tommy Cunningham and Neil Mitchell have all left.
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From booze and heroin addiction to setting up a taxi firm, we look at what became of the original four.
At one point in lead singer Marti’s life, it looked as if it could all come crashing down.
Marti – whose real name is Mark McLachlan – became addicted to alcohol, then in 1997 began taking Class A drugs.
He told The Herald in 2000: ''About that time I started losing my sanity messing about with heroin.
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“When I first started using it was, where have you been all my life?
“Within a week it was everything to me – that's how powerful the drug was.''
After collapsing from an overdose in 1999, Marti got clean and quit the band to go solo – though he re-joined five years later.
Sadly his only brother – dad-of-10 John McLachlan – also struggled with an alcohol addiction and died in 2011.
Marti had supported John – who was a roadie for Wet Wet Wet before he was fired over his drinking – and vice versa. The singer was left "shattered" by his sibling's death.
His mother passed away in 2003, and in 2014 Marti was distraught when his dad lost his battle with cancer.
Marti, now 57, has carved out a successful career in musicals – including playing Che in Evita and the narrator in Blood Brothers.
In 2018 he announced he was leaving Wet Wet Wet for good to concentrate on his acting career, and was replaced by popstar and The Voice winner Kevin Simms.
Keyboard player Neil was ordered to take part in a domestic violence programme after beating up his girlfriend.
The musician, 57, admitted pushing and punching his partner Olivia Warren after a booze fuelled evening in Fulham, south west London in July 2009.
His defence lawyer Jill Evans told Kingston Crown Court, in Surrey, that the incident was down to a drink problem and he was now going to counselling.
Neil was banned from contacting his ex and ordered to take a domestic violence class.
In 2022 he announced he was leaving Wet Wet Wet.
He said: "I feel it's a good time for me to exit stage left. Big thanks to those past and present for all you have done for the band."
Founding member Graeme also struggled with drink while in Wet Wet Wet.
He told how he reached crisis point in 2001 when he punched his wife Beverley.
The 57-year-old told the Daily Record: "I was drinking a lot. If you pour alcohol on me, I'm like firework. I am going to go off.
"Beverley is a powerful, strong woman. That is the big attraction for me. She is very opinionated.
"But the tempestuous aspect of our relationship came from me. It didn't come from Beverley.
"Thankfully, I don't drink any more. That fire has dissipated. I don't drink at all. I am clean and sober.”
He admitted in 2020 he hadn’t spoken to Marti since he left the band.
He said: “I haven’t spoken to Marti for the best part of three years. He’s a personal friend and I love him deeply. He decided to move in his direction and we decided to move in our direction.”
Graeme told he hired “gregarious” Kevin Simms in 2020 when he auditioned to replace Marti.
Like Marti, Tommy has left the band not once, but twice.
In 1997 the drummer, now 58, fell out with his bandmates in a row over royalties and quit.
While not performing he set up a taxi firm and opened a bar in Duntocher, West Dunbartonshire.
But he re-joined with the rest of the band in 2004 and stayed with them until last year.
He announced his departure due to a problem with his hearing.
He wrote on Facebook: “I knew back then that I was doing some irreparable damage to my hearing but I had believed that I had it under control.
“During the last two years of lockdown it has become increasingly clear to me that over time my tinnitus has increased in intensity to the point where I now have constant loud ringing in my ears, which affects almost every wakened moment.
“Due to this I have come to the very difficult decision where if I want to retain any hearing at all in the future then I must hang up my drumsticks and stop performing live shows.”
Guitarist Graeme – known as “the fifth Wet” – was deliberately kept out of the limelight by order of their record label as an accompanying guitarist and producer.
The 66-year-old was once scolded by Phonogram for appearing in publicity shots for a kids TV programme.
He said: “The following week that shot, with me bang in the centre, appeared on the cover of some teen magazine. The record company was not happy about that.”
But Graeme never minded and preferred to concentrate on music, rather than the showbiz lifestyle.
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He has stayed in Glasgow with his wife and kids but is still happy to be performing with The Wets.
He said: “We’ve now had Mexit, Texit and Nexit. But to be honest I thought when Marti left that was it.”
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