STEPHEN Gately was due to appear on the X Factor to help judge Louis Walsh mentor the groups, The Sun can reveal.
He was ready to film in the next few weeks and was said to be "really excited" about appearing on the ITV1 hit. It was part of his plan for a TV comeback before releasing a new album with Boyzone. Stephen was also in talks to star in a reality show.
His X Factor appearance would have come shortly after bandmate Ronan Keating, 32, helped Louis pick his final three acts.
A source said: "Stephen was really excited about coming down to the live show. He had been asking Ronan about the groups. Stephen loved the show and wanted to come on as well." In one of his last interviews, Stephen also revealed he felt under pressure to get back into shape for the comeback after seeing Ronan show off a six-pack while posing for pictures.
In the interview last Monday, he said: "I wish I was in good shape. I have been in the gym today because I'm feeling the pressure of him, and I thought, 'I've got to get back in shape'."