12 October 2009


Another celebrity death and the vultures are circling.

On the afternoon of 10th October 2009, Boyzone member Stephen Gately was found dead at his home in Majorca at the age of 33.

I was never a Boyzone fan, and when Stephen was allowed to help Ronans weirdly affected vocalisations, he just came across as nasal and tuneless to me, but that's not going to alter the way I feel about his death.

I care, but I don't care.

I care in the sense that I needed to find out. He was in the public eye, so It's only right we should be informed if he's passed away, particularly as it was so sudden and unexpected.

I don't care to be updated as the headline news on every channel and newspaper. Ghoulish reporters hanging around airports waiting for the rest of the band to arrive so they can elbow their way into their grief so we can all have a gawp. Looking for any tell tale signs that anyone is not surprised.

That maybe there was some dark secret that we didn't know about, and it's not really a surprise to those who knew him.

But those who did know him (and there are loads on Twitter) all say he was a sweet, charming man, who didn't do drugs, and was no party animal. He was in a happy loving relationship with his long term partner. The police say there are no signs of foul play, yet still, the vultures circle closer and closer....

'He'd spent the evening at a gay club with a Bulgarian man' the media scum inform us, allowing us to fill in the blanks that it was probably some bizarre gay sex game gone wrong.

If they'd just reported that he'd spent the evening in a club with his partner and a friend, it would have been far less scandalous, but equally true. He was found in his pyjamas, not naked wearing a gimp mask.

We really don't need hourly updates as to whether Boyzones private jet has landed yet, or list in The Daily Telegraph of - and I kid you not - '10 other mysterious celebrity deaths'.

What we need to do is give his family and friends the time and privacy to grieve for a young man tragically taken before his time.

The remit of the news should be to inform us of important world events, not pray on the private misery of others because it sells papers and advertising space. If I wanted regular updates, I can get them on line from any number of websites. The 'News' should be just that. News. Not voyeurism.

There will continue to be speculation until the post mortum is carried out and results splashed over every media outlet. Irrespective of what it shows, I don't think we need to know any anymore than it was just too early.

For anyone who would argue that there's no smoke without fire, and people don't 'just die' at 33, it's a sad fact that sometimes they do, just not always people that the fucking media can make a buck out of.

R.I.P. Stephen Gately. 17 March 1976 - 10 October 2009


  1. Update - I can't believe I wrote this before Jan Mois dispicable article in The Daily Mail. Take my disgust at the vile scum that pray on personal tragedy and multiply it by the biggest number you can think of.

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