Gary Barlow: Tax avoidance scandal was a really awful time

9th Dec 18 | Entertainment News

The Take That star also revealed there was a 'lightbulb moment' in his decision to get fit.

The Band Gala Night - London

Gary Barlow says he takes “full responsibility” after he was caught up in a tax avoidance scandal – but admitted he does not know a thing about accounts.

The Take That star faced heavy criticism in 2014 over the schemes.

Asked on Desert Island Discs how he looks back on the time, the singer says: “Awful, really awful.

“I take full responsibility for that.

Gary Barlow and Lauren Laverne
Gary Barlow and Lauren Laverne (Amanda Benson/BBC Radio 4)

“You try and do these things under the guidance of other people. I don’t know a thing about accounts. I never want to. It’s of no interest to me.”

He added: “I signed those things. It’s my responsibility.

“So, all I could do at that point was just say, hold your hands up, say ‘I’m sorry, and whatever I owe, just pay it back immediately’ and get on with your life.”

Barlow kept his head down when the storm blew up, apologising “to anyone who was offended by the tax stories”.

On the BBC Radio 4 show, he also talks about his eating disorder, saying: “I actually believe I still do, to be honest – but it’s a healthy eating disorder if there is one.”

Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen of Take That
Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen of Take That (Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror)

He said of deciding to get healthy: “There was a lightbulb moment. I realised this is as bad as I want to let it get.

“It involved a trip to the doctor who informed me of my weight and that I was in a bad place.

“I had young kids and it felt highly irresponsible to be in the shape I was in.

“The music confidence had gone, now the personal confidence had gone. I needed to change that. ”

– Desert Island Discs is on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 4 on Sunday at 11:15am.

© Press Association 2018

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