Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Louis Walsh: I can't believe Stephen Gately is gone

Stephen Gately
Stephen Gately of Boyzone
Stephen Gately
File photo dated 8/5/2008 of Boyzone (left to right) Keith Duffy, Ronan Keating, Stephen Gately, Shane Lynchy and Mikey Graham arrive at The Cauldwell Ball at the Battersea Evolution in Battersea Park, London. Gately has died at the age of just 33. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday October 11 2009. The Irish pop star and actor was on holiday with his long-term partner in Majorca when he 'tragically died' yesterday, according to the band's tour website. See PA story DEATH Gately. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Boyzone
Boyzone's Stephen Gately
Boyzone's Stephen Gately
Boyzone's Stephen Gately
The crowd goes wild for Boyzone as they perform in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast.
Boyzone
Jemma Neely and Michele Moffat at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey
Caoimhe Campbell, Lauren Doherty, Meghann McKeever and Hayley Quinnell at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Margret Campbell, Francis Doherty, Maureen McKeever and Clare Campbell at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Jemma Neely and Michele Moffat at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Christine and Nollen Bannon at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Seanan Donnelly, Cara Donnelly and Michelle Corry at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Catherine McVeigh, Nadine Quinn and Aislinn Murray at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Eoghan Quigg and Boyzone.

Boyzone manager Louis Walsh puts it quite simply. He describes Stephen Gately as "one of the nicest people you could ever meet".

The pop mogul pulled out of the X Factor last night as he attempted to come to terms with the shocking news of Stephen's untimely passing at the age of 33.



Louis was informed of the tragedy after X Factor was screened on Saturday night -- he pulled out of the results show which was broadcast on ITV last night.



"I'm in total shock -- I didn't sleep all night," said Louis, who first met Stephen in 1993 when he was putting Boyzone together.



Louis told of how he had been out with Stephen just days before he died.



"He was never happier when I met him last Monday at the Pride of Britain Awards.



"We had a laugh as usual, things were going so well. I still can't believe he's gone.



"He was one of the nicest people you could meet.



"Everyone loved Stephen. He never made a single enemy in the business and never let me down," Louis revealed.



Stephen was found dead in the Majorca apartment he shared with husband Andrew Cowles at 1.45pm on Saturday. Louis was told the news after the X Factor had aired later that night at approximately 9pm.



Last night, Simon Cowell told the audience that Louis wasn't going to be on the show and paid tribute to Stephen before sending his sympathies to his family and friends.



Louis told of how much Stephen had in his life to look forward to and how he had been hoping to land a role in a new West End show, Jersey Boys.



"He'd gone for an audition and didn't get it, but went to another and felt he was about to get it.



"He was writing a book, Boyzone was back together -- everything was going great," Louis said.



The future of Boyzone following Stephen's death is now unclear.



"I don't know what will happen. We'd picked 30 songs to work on for the next album -- but not one has come to terms yet with the fact that Stephen's gone."

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