Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

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

Stephen Gately
Stephen Gately of Boyzone
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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