Belfast Telegraph

Show goes on for Take That

Pop star Gary Barlow showed what a consummate professional he was as he performed with Take That despite mourning the loss of his baby daughter.

Baby Poppy was delivered stillborn last Saturday when Barlow's wife, former dancer Dawn, was eight months pregnant.

The singer-songwriter had previously spoken about how he was looking forward to becoming a father for the fourth time. The couple already have three children.

The announcement had cast doubt on whether Barlow would appear in the closing ceremony, but tonight he put on a brave face to perform alongside band mates Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Howard Donald.

The group first shot to fame in the early 90s, becoming one of the most successful boybands of all time.

With their heartthrob looks and mix of catchy pop tunes and romantic ballads they sold out stadiums, leaving screaming fans in their wake. But the pressure became too much for fifth member Robbie Williams, who left the band in 1995 amid his own drug and alcohol problems.

When the rest of the band then broke up a year later, they left their millions of fans devastated to the extent that a special hotline had to be set up to offer counselling. The announcement that they were reforming to carry out a tour, minus Williams, in 2006 was met with universal acclaim.

And although many doubted they would still appeal to audiences 15 years on from their original success, they have proven they have still got what it takes.

Now aged in their late 30s and early 40s, they are more of a manband than a boyband, but still appeal to fans old and young alike. With Barlow still carrying out the main songwriting duties, their comeback album Beautiful World went straight to number one in the charts and has remained one of the best selling album in the UK of all time while their other releases have also enjoyed huge sales.

Barlow, who was crowned celebrity dad of the year in June, has also made a name for himself through appearing as a judge on The X Factor and in various charity events. A fund has been set up by fans in his daughter's memory on the website It aims to raise £100,000 for the stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands.


From Belfast Telegraph