TV Times talks to Dancing on Ice star Mikey Graham about this Saturday’s special tribute to late Boyzone bandmate Stephen Gately on ITV1…

What was it like doing Dancing on Ice?
“It has been therapeutic. It acted like a life raft and gave me something to distract me from what was unfortunately going on at the time. I’m sure Stephen was cheering me on. He’d probably be as surprised as I am how well I did. I think all the lads are. None of us expected me to do very well.”

What was it like recording the special without Stephen?
“It was a really strange day. There was a multitude of emotions going on. There was a terrible sadness when we looked at footage of Stephen and the great times we had in the past. There was excitement about the future, but then this sadness that Stephen wasn’t with us. It was very surreal, but we got through it. We were very happy at the end that we’d done the best we could do to honour our friend and felt we had got the balance right between reflection and respect.”

Was it hard to stay focused on the job?
“Yes. Because it was such a busy day, with everything including rehearsals with the different acts who perform (including Girls’ Aloud’s Nadine Coyle and Mika who has penned their new single ‘Gave It All Away’) you had to concentrate. It wasn’t until we watched footage of Stephen that it really hit us hard what we were doing right then and there. It was in between our performances that we saw video clips. You have to try your best to distract yourself because emotionally it overcomes you and then it’s just too hard to carry on with anything. It’s definitely helped us though. It’s good to remember him in that way – musically and the friendship that we had. It’s all therapy and it’s brought us all closer together.”

What was the relationship like between Stephen and the other band members?
“We’re very protective of each other and the four of us would really look out for Stephen and make sure he was OK. We just miss him. He made me laugh all the time. He was a total comedian, so, so funny; he had a sharp wit and great comic timing.”

Has the group changed without him?
“It’s very different, you know, it’s not the old Boyzone. It’s the Boyzone of today. We just hope fans like it as much as we do! You can never be certain of anything. Stephen loved his fans and I’d just like them to cherish his memory as much as we do. I’d like him to be remembered as the talented man he was.”