Boyzone’s Mikey Graham said training for Dancing On Ice had been a kind of therapy as he came to terms with the death of bandmate Stephen Gately.
He said practising for the show had been like a “life raft”, but added that the grief still creeps up on him to “stab you in the heart”.
Stephen, who died of natural causes in October last year, took part in the ITV1 ice-skating competition in 2007.
Mikey started training for this year’s show in November and said the physical slog was therapeutic. He said: “This has really acted like a life raft… to get myself really focused on the skating helps me keep my mind off it.”
He said there are “a lot of nice reasons” for being involved, adding: “It’s nice to hear some pleasant stories about the time that Stephen had here, he was very well liked by all of the crew and the coaches, which isn’t hard to believe.”
The singer added it was still uncertain whether the band would go on tour again, saying it would be “emotional”.
He said: “On the one hand it would be nice to go on tour and do something, but we wouldn’t know whether it was the right decision until we get there so we’ll just wait and see. It would be emotional, there’s no doubt about it.
“It would be extremely difficult because we haven’t been on stage together since Stephen passed away.”
Visibly emotional, he added: “You get moments when it just hits you like a ton of bricks. You get used to talking about it and then other moments it stabs you in the heart.”
Boyzone have a new album due out this year, which features two songs Stephen recorded before his death.
Dancing On Ice begins on Sunday January 10 on ITV1.