X-Factor’s Louis speaks about Stephen Gately

Louis Walsh, Boyzone manager and X-Factor judge, tells of his grief over Stephen Gately's death.

Devastated Louis Walsh, manager of Boyzone and judge on the X-Factor, has spoken publicly for the first time since Stephen Gately’s death.

Louis said that he and the members of Boyzone had lost their, ‘Very, very best friend.’

Louis was with Stephen and the rest of Boyzone only last week at an awards ceremony. Louis said of the evening he last spent with Stephen, ‘I never saw him in better health or better form.’

Louis, Stephen, Shane, Ronan, Mikey and Keith had been planning the tracks on their comeback album. ‘Nobody can believe it – the guys, me, nobody. We are in shock.’

‘Of all the people I’ve worked with I don’t think anyone thanked me as much as Stephen. He used to always say to me, ‘If I wasn’t in Boyzone I don’t know where I’d be today, thank you. A great, great, great professional kid.’

Tearful Louis, 57, confirmed that the Boyzone bandmates will bring Stephen’s body home to Ireland next week and the funeral will be held the next day.

Coroners announced yesterday that Stephen Gately died at the age of 33 from fluid on the lungs.


Reading now