Gary Barlow didn't sing in public for seven years following the failure of his solo career.

Although the singer/songwriter was initially successful as a solo artist when Take That split in 1996 with his album 'Open Road' reaching number one in the UK album charts, he admits he just wanted to hide from the world when his second solo LP 'Twelve Months, Eleven Days' flopped in 1999 and couldn't imagine ever performing live again.

He told The Sun newspaper: "I never saw myself being back on stage again. Now I can look back and see just how bad things were. I realised I had spent seven years where I never sang at all, until I got back with the lads.

"Well I'd sing in the studio but never outside. I thought I was done and abandoned.

"The reason I hadn't thought about going back on stage was that there was no possibility of people wanting me back up there. It was horrible the way it ended. Nobody wants any involvement in you whatsoever."

Gary is determined he won't allow himself to ever sink back into that state again and is making the most of every moment with Take That since he and Mark Owen, Howard Donald and Jason Orange reformed as a four-piece in 2005.

The 40-year-old musician said: "We are a happy band this time and we have lived a bit. I think it takes the seriousness out of music this time - every day is special for us."

Fifth member Robbie Williams returned to the band last year for a new album, 'Progress', and 2011 tour after initially quitting in 1995.