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07-03-01 news BY PAUL MARTIN
Ronan spells the end for Boyzone...

Boyzone's dreams of making a comeback were in tatters last night after Ronan Keating told the band he wouldn't tour with them again. The Mirror revealed that Ronan has contacted Keith Duffy to announce he won't take part in a Christmas tour which the rest of the group had been planning. The news almost certainly spells the end for the Dublin pop group after seven years together.

In an exclusive interview, Keith Duffy said: "Ronan isn't going to do it - there are going to be a lot of disappointed Boyzone fans out there. He isn't up for it so that's the end of that idea really. We're all gutted to be honest. You can't be half-hearted in these things and it's all or nothing. It's a shame but we just have to deal with it."

Ronan will sacrifice the lucrative Christmas tour to concentrate on breaking America. The star has a string of live appearance lined up in America this winter Ronan, Keith, Mikey Graham, Stephen Gately and Shane Lynch stood to make 2m each from a 20 date UK and Ireland tour.

Keith, Ronan's closest pal in the group, was the main driving force behind plans for a reunion tour. "All the other lads were really up for it and to be honest I thought Ronan would be too," he added. "From Ronan's point of view he has to put everything into conquering America and he won't have time for the tour. It's really disappointing but there's no point in stringing the Boyzone fans along. We're just sad that it can't go ahead because it would have been a great opportunity. But I'm not mad with Ronan or anything - we will still continue to be the best of mates."

The Boyzone tour has now been ditched and bookings at venues including Wembley Arena, The Point and the Odyssey in Belfast have been cancelled. Last night a source close to the group said the cancellation of the tour was a major blow. "Really other than Ronan the rest of them are struggling to make an impact in the entertainment world. This tour was their chance to get back in the spotlight again and enjoy the good times that fame brings. It's not looking good for Keith, Shane, Mikey and Stephen. But Ronan will go from strength to strength. Realistically why would Ronan split the profits from a tour between four other guys when he can sell it all out himself?"

Aside from Ronan, the other members of Boyzone have struggled to find success outside the group. Keith enjoyed a brief stint as a co-host on Saturday morning show FBI but it was ditched after just one series because of poor ratings. Stephen released a solo album but it failed to make a serious impact in the charts. Since then there have been limited single releases and he has now moved to Holland with his Dutch lover Eloy de Jong. Mikey has been working on a solo album on his own label, but has only managed a top 20 single since forming his solo career. Shane has been indulging his passion for race cars and has not even been spotted in public for the past month.

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