HomeArts & EntertainmentMusicGary Barlow speaks out on 2012 Take That tax scandal: ‘There’s no...

Gary Barlow speaks out on 2012 Take That tax scandal: ‘There’s no escape’

Gary Barlow has spoken out about being named in a tax evasion investigation along with his Take That bandmates Howard Donald and Mark Owen.

The Take That stars repaid £20m to HMRC in 2012 after it was discovered that they had invested in a music business that could qualify as a tax shelter.

After the news broke, Barlow, Donald and Owen swiftly apologised to fans.

In a new interview with The Times, the singers were asked about the tax avoidance accusations, and whether their quick repayment and diffusion of the controversy was a way of trying to distance themselves from the headlines.

“I don’t know,” Barlow replied. “When you do what we do, it’s all just out there anyway. If it wasn’t for bloody YouTube, people would have forgotten the outfits we wore for Do What You Like!

In the music video for the 1991 single, Take That wore black bondage gear – a significant departure from their “boy-next-door”, wholesome image that followed.

Barlow continued: “But, yes, there’s no escape. You’ve just got to own [your mistakes].”

Howard Donald, Gary Barlow and Mark Owen of Take That

(Getty Images)

Elsewhere in the interview, published on Sunday (11 June), the band addressed their current iteration as a threesome, following the departures of Robbie Williams and Jason Orange.

Williams initially left the band in 1995 and began a successful solo career before making a brief return in 2010.

“It’s not a clear-cut answer,” Barlow said of whether Williams could return. “And I like that.”

However, he made it clear that they remain on good terms following years of a fractured relationship. “We don’t ever want to get back to that,” he noted.

Of Orange, Owen said that his presence is still felt in the group despite walking away in 2014.

After stating his belief that Orange “didn’t want to do it anymore”, Owen continued: “But I’m not going to speak for him. He’s still here anyway.

“The other day we were trying to work out who the best joke-teller in the band is and remembered how Jason always laughed before he got to the punchline. So we came round to you, Gary.”

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