Stephen Gately’s Death Raises Questions

  • I was stunned to learn about the sudden death of Irish Boyzone singer Stephen Gately over the weekend. I distinctly remember his coming out back in 1999, when I was a freshman in college, and the positive reaction from his fans made me optimistic for the future of gay acceptance in music. When Lance Bass was still cowering in the closet, Gately was out-and-proud (even if he was forced out).

    Ronan Keating sang lead on most of Boyzone’s hits, but Gately was featured on their 1998 single, “No Matter What,” which was the band’s highest-charting song in the U.S.

    Watch the video

    Now it’s time for the ugly, seedy stuff: although his death has been attributed to “natural causes,” much of the media focus is on the Bulgarian man who accompanied Gately and husband Andy Cowles back to their Majorca apartment the night of Gately’s death. The Sun does a short profile on Georgi Petrov Dochev, who claims he found Gately’s body. However, Gately’s family insists Cowles was the one who found the Boyzone singer.

  • Meanwhile, Pete Doherty has cancelled an Irish tour “after being hospitalized last night” for “exhaustion and breathing difficulties.”(NME)
  • Lily Allen has won libel damages from The Sun.(Sky News)
  • Peter Hook, formerly of New Order, has some words for Morrissey: “There’s no way I could have liked The Smiths as they were our competition. Morrissey’s a twat anyway! He makes Mark E. Smith look popular! He really does….What I do love about Mozzer though, is that any time anyone has any legal problem with him, the only person you can speak to about [it] is his mother! That’s true. So if you have a problem you have to deal with Morrissey’s mother. And the first thing she says is, ‘Our Steven wouldn’t do that!’” (NME)
  • Whitney Houston has announced a British tour for her comeback album.(BBC)
  • Proud father Ioan Gruffudd shows off his new baby.(Daily Mail)
  • Meet the British Kim Kardashian.(Daily Mail)
  • BFFs Leona Lewis and Sugababe Keisha Buchanan wig out together.(Daily Mail)
  • Orlando Bloom is a UNICEF ambassador.(Guardian)
  • The Daily Telegraph‘s Harry de Quetteville tries to discourage Keira Knightley from treading the boards in the West End. “Don’t do it Keira. I know it will make you feel like a ‘proper’ actress. I know it will bring in great publicity and some most welcome cash for the Comedy Theatre, which is producing the whole shebang.But celebrity theatricals are almost always a high-octane wash-out, in which deluded stars find out to their chagrin that acting live in front of an audience is a rather different discipline to having all the takes you want on a movie set.”
  • Dame Judi Dench wants young actors not to be lured by easy fame: “Probably the majority of young actors want to make a big impression in television or film straight away, I wish that young people now – and it’s not very fashionable – learnt a bit about our fantastic heritage of theatre and the people who’ve gone before, learned a bit about the history of the theatre, because it’s phenomenal.” (Telegraph)
  • The Bond novel Goldfinger will become a BBC radio play.(The Stage)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

See more posts by Kevin Wicks