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SHANE: WHY I LOATHE GAYBO ..AND RONAN; FURY OF BOYZONE STAR ON GAY BYRNE He insisted we perform on his show even though we hadn't had time to rehearse, then gave us stick because we were absolute rubbish. I hate the man for that.. ON KEATING Boyzone was brought to an end by Mr Keating. I'd walk out of the room if he came in, that's if I didn't belt him first. I hope that I / never see the guy again..

Byline: TED MACAULEY

SHANE Lynch has launched an astonishing attack on the man who helped make him a millionaire.

The former Boyzone star hit out at broadcasting legend Gay Byrne, who he claims embarrassed the band on their first appearance on TV.

And big-mouth Shane, 27, also slammed former bandmate Ronan Keating.

In an exclusive interview, Shane said he:

CRINGES every time Boyzone's first performance on the Late Late Show is reshown.

BLAMES Gaybo for the embarrassment and snubbed a farewell tribute to the chat show host.

BELIEVES Ronan Keating is wrong when he says Boyzone are going to reform.

WOULD walk out of the room if Keating came in - that's if he "didn't punch him first".

Shane, giving his first in-depth interview since the boy band's break-up, opened his heart to the Irish Mirror in a two-hour chat.

He told how Boyzone's Late Late Show debut has stuck with Shane down the years and even today the topic is a sore point for him.

He described the performance as comical and said the band came across as a wriggling bunch of raw lads.

He blames Gaybo for their blushes. And so much so that he refused to take part in a fond farewell tribute to the TV superstar when he was leaving The Late Late Show.

He said: "When we were just starting out we were thrilled that we'd been asked on to his show.

"It was the first time we'd been on telly anywhere.

"We'd only officially formed the band two days beforehand and we weren't really meant to do anything on the show... just talk about Boyzone.

"It was our big introduction to the public and Byrne was billing us as a great new Irish boyband pop sensation.

"But when we got there he wouldn't let us go on unless we performed something. And that was crazy and unfair because we hadn't had time to rehearse anything.

"We didn't want to miss the opportunity so we gave it a shot. And we put together a little routine in about half an hour.

"It was absolute rubbish. Embarrassing. And it still is now when we see it replayed.

"Gaybo was so big in Ireland you just had to get his support. It was such a big help. And if he liked you, okay, no problem. If he didn't - you count for nothing.

"The bad thing was that he had refused to let us on the show unless we performed - and then he slated us for it.

"The whole performance, first time out for us, was a disaster and wrong for the group. We looked ridiculous. And even though we'd done what he wanted he still gave us some stick.

"I hate the man for that. Even though it did get us a lot of publicity and we did eventually get to where we wanted to go, thanks to our own talent, it could have hindered us in a big, big way because we looked so foolish."

Shane said he was the only member of Boyzone who didn't attend Byrne's farewell tribute.

He added: "A lot of people wouldn't have had the guts to knock him back because he was the biggest name on TV in Ireland. But I wasn't being jumped up and big-headed. Far from it - I'm a long way from being cocky like that.

"I do a lot of things I don't particularly enjoy without any problems. But there was no way I was going to be hypocritical and stand around while people were saying nice things about a man I didn't like.

"When I've got a problem with somebody like that I won't work with them.

"I can't be two-faced. If that's a snub, too bad, but I was only being honest and I'm sorry if people misinterpret my motives.

"But you can be honest and say, Gay, I'm not doing this or that and not explain why.

"Or you can say, and be brutally honest, that you called us all sorts of names, made fun of us and slagged us off, so why should I pay you a tribute? I'd never be able to live with myself. I realise that everybody loved Gay Byrne. He was big with the elder mums and dads.

"But to be honest, mothers and fathers don't class me as the sort of son they'd like - or the boy they'd like their daughter to bring home. Not with my blond hair, piercings and tattoos.

"So, I really couldn't give a stuff, then or now, about Gay Byrne or his show."

Boyzone rebel Shane snarls at the mere mention of former band member Ronan Keating.

He said: "I'd walk out of the room if he came in, that's if I didn't stop to belt him first."

The bust-up has split Boyzone beyond repair.

Shane said: "There is no Boyzone as far as I'm concerned.

"The band is dead even if it is not yet completely buried and even though Mr Ronan Keating says that we will be getting back together to do a tour.

"He has quit anyway and he is planning his own pop route.

"But, whatever, I'm not going back. I couldn't work any more with a guy like that.

"We made hundreds of thousands of people very happy with our music and the way we looked and performed on stage.

"He never gives a straight answer. And never has done about us doing another tour or another record.

"So I have decided that that's it. I'm out - and sod you Mr Keating. We've been messed around by you far too long."

Shane denied he wanted a solo career of his own.

He said: "Definitely not. Though I admit I did look at the idea. But so many other people were doing it I figured I would just be another guy fresh out of a broken up band going it alone.

"My main talent, and my value to the band, was that I liked to be a dancer, a mover, a character - all stuff I'd learned as a street performer - and put on a good visual show as a damn good entertainer.

"If you don't have the talent you soon get found out in this business. You can't busk it and hope to get through. You've got to do the real business.

"When Mr Keating decided Boyzone should take a year off as a break because we had been working like crazy - and, yes, we all have to move on in life - he said he was going to do a solo album.

"No problem there - and all due respect to him. Good luck to you, I said, and so did the other guys. And we meant it.

"We all believed he'd be back and we'd be together again to do more albums as Boyzone.

"We were still signed up with two record companies as far as I and the rest of the guys were concerned. We were just taking a welcome and well deserved year off.

"But in the back of Keating's mind, I suspect it always knew he wasn't coming back.

"So there we were all sitting back, relaxing and having a good time in a nice year off, believing like idiots that everything was fine and dandy.

"For that reason, as far as I'm concerned, there is no Boyzone and there is no Ronan Keating.

"That is sad and disappointing because we used to be such great pals. More than that, he was my best mate.

"We shared a house together, we did everything together - and we made a world success, and a good few bob, out of Boyzone as mates.

"The band was a lovely tight unit but we were all firm and true friends who got on with each other. We had fun - and I think everybody who saw us perform could see that.

"It was all brought to an end by Keating. I hope I never see him again. I hate the guy."

Shane, an only son with five sisters, revels in defending his mother Noleen and her intense pride in him and his achievements.

He added: "She's lovely and she spoils me rotten.

"And when I got my hair died blond my manager said to me in front of her, "What the hell have you done?'

"And it caused one almighty row because she fired back with a rollicking for him and said, 'Don't you talk to my boy like that. I think it looks lovely.'

"She was pleased because I've still got hair even if it is long and phoney blond.

"She's just happy, and relieved that I'm not a skinhead."

Six-footer Shane is aware that his image, macho, intimidating and rough-edged, gives rise to doubts about his behaviour and control.

He said: "When I first came into Boyzone I wasn't interested in singing any songs.

"That's why I always stood at the back - but I was still a big presence and my dress code and attitude came across.

"My character was different from the rest of the band - individual, not clean-cut like them - and it really worked.

"It was easy for me to stand at the back, do my stuff and look a bit different from the guys in front.

"It's all about inventing an image and making people have it and believe it. But you've still got to have something else to back it up. That little bit extra - it's called talent."

TOMORROW: MY PUNCH-UP WITH PUFF DADDY

CAPTION(S):

BAND TOGETHER: Ronan and Boyzone; NAKED AMBITION: Boyzone in early days; TRUTH HURTS: Former Boyzone star Shane Lynch believes Gay Byrne embarrassed both him and his fellow band members on The Late Late Show; SNUBBED: Chat show host Gay Byrne; SOLO STARDOM: Ronan Keating
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 7, 2001
Words:1624
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