Take That EXCLUSIVE: ‘We questioned if carrying on as a 3-piece was the right thing to do’

Take That are one of the most successful pop groups in history, having kickstarted their careers a five-piece back in 1989. The original line-up consisted of Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams, Mark Owen, Howard Donald and Jason Orange. Nowadays, they play as a three-piece and have just released their brand new album, Greatest Hits Live.

In an exclusive Q&A with Express.co.uk, Donald said Take That had doubts about whether or not they should carry on with just the three of them after Orange quit in 2014.

Asked how the experience of touring these days differs from their earlier years, the singer replied: “Playing as a three is something we have got used to now.

“It was all a massive challenge when Jason left the band and we always questioned whether it was the right thing to do,” he admitted, adding: “But it certainly was!”

When he announced his shock split from the band five years ago, Orange said in a statement: “I have spent some of the best years of my life with Take That and I’d like to thank everyone who has been part of my journey, including my bandmates, who I feel are like brothers me.”



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When it came to the reason behind his decision to quit, the popstar revealed he simply didn’t want to dedicate his time to touring and writing music anymore.

In the years since, Take That star Owen has said Orange has turned down multiple offers to rejoin the band, but that the door remains open for him to come back.

Meanwhile, speaking to Express.co.uk, Barlow also spoke out on how his experience with Take That has changed over the years.

“For me personally – my appreciation of it all [has changed],” he said. “I really love performing live — I’d almost forgotten in our time off — then coming back to it was incredible, a muscle that hadn’t been used for years.

“It felt so good to be up there again,” he added.

Having completed their 30th Anniversary tour earlier this year, Donald also recalled one of the strangest things which happened while they’re on the road.

“While we were playing at the O2, I stayed at home in London but totally forgot I was in my home and not a hotel.

“I used the phone at the side of the bed to call for room service and my wife answered and told me to f*** off,” he quipped.


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Take Take have also released their brand new concert film, Odyssey: Greatest Hits Live, which captures their 30th Anniversary tour.

The film features the rotating 30-tonne sphere at centre-stage and highlights of the last night of the tour.

Asked what the highlight of the film was for him, Owen said: “The interlude Part 1 going into Part 2 for me always makes me smile.

“It all looks so calm on the film,” he explained. “Backstage we were sprinting down the venues corridor trying to make our change for Patience.

“Some of them venues were big and we had about 90 seconds to make it. I felt like Usain Bolt, but in Cuban heels.”

He also said the biggest challenge when it comes to touring is “trying to stay in good condition, stay healthy”.

“The worst time on tour is when you’re ill or not feeling at your best,” he said. “You have to stay in a room and eat dinner on your own and nobody comes to visit.”

To order Odyssey: Greatest Hits Live, visit: https://bit.ly/37xTsAA.

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