| 2.2°C Dublin

Ice show forces sad Mikey to miss Niall's farewell

Boyzone star Mikey Graham had to muster up every ounce of courage to take to the ice after finding out about the sad death of his pal Niall McCrudden.

The singer (37) has been wowing audiences across the water with his determination to learn the tricky moves for ITV's hit show Dancing on Ice.

And he has admitted that he found the going particularly tough this week, after his friend was found dead at his Drumcondra home last weekend.

"Very sad today. Lost a very close pal on Saturday and just found out before I went on ice. So damn tough, another friend gone. RIP pal," he wrote on his Twitter page.

The star has since been inundated with messages of support from his fans and friends who saw the tweet. He responded: "Thank you all for your kind words. It really helps."

Pals of Mikey said he was gutted he couldn't join fellow Boyzone star Keith Duffy at the 45-year-old businessman's funeral in Drumcondra on Wednesday -- but he was too busy rehearsing for Sunday's tough routine.

"He knows that Niall would have wanted him to carry on, doing his best and making everyone around him really proud. He was devastated when he found out about what happened but as the saying goes, the show must go on and there was no way Mikey would have pulled out of the show. He's a true pro," said a close source.

Optician-to-the-stars Niall was good pals with the chart-topping band and was particularly close to Mikey and Keith, whom he helped raised thousands of euro for his Irish Autism Action charity.

Keith helped Niall's close relatives and good pal Brian Ormond carry his coffin into Corpus Christi Church on Home Farm road at a ceremony that was packed with well-known faces as tribute was paid to the father-of-one.

Niall had fought a valiant battle with depression for the past number of years and his grief-stricken twin brother Kevin told mourners that it was a fight he "always thought he would win."