THE end is nigh for Irish boyband Boyzone, as they release their last album and prepare to hit the road on their farewell tour which includes two dates in Bournemouth.

Lead singer Ronan Keating says the decision to finally draw a line under a 25-year career wasn’t easy. “It took us a while to get to this decision to be honest. It’s not something you can decide overnight, it’s such a massive thing in our lives. It took us about six months of to-ing and fro-ing and making a decision that finally this is it. We’re 25 years at it now - it’s a good number.”

He adds: “But we’re not kids any more, you can’t do this sort of thing forever, and we wanted to go out on a high. We wanted to go out on our terms, and this felt like the right time to do that.”

It’s clear that for Keating and bandmates Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch, who were part of the boyband alongside Stephen Gately until his death nine years ago, the time is right to mark the end of a successful career, which saw them nab four Brit Awards and two MTV EMAs among countless highlights.

For their millions of devoted fans, their impending final curtain moment is a bitter pill to swallow, although the band members themselves aren’t feeling low about it. Not yet, anyway.

“At this moment in time, it’s still very distant for us, so we’re not dwelling on it at the moment,” Duffy explains.

“I’m sure as the date of the last show becomes closer to us, we’re going to start getting a little bit worried, sad, emotional.”

* Boyzone will play the BIC on Saturday February 9 and Sunday, February 10. To book tickets, see