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Gary Barlow admits he had a hard time accepting he was a ‘sex symbol’

‘It’s always an area I’ve struggled with’: Gary Barlow admits he had a hard time accepting he was a ‘sex symbol’ at the height of Take That’s global fame

Gary Barlow admits he struggled with his sex symbol status at the height of Take That’s global fame in the 1990s. 

The singer-songwriter’s face quickly plastered the bedroom walls of teenage girls across the world as Take That’s popularity soared with chart-topping hits such as Pray, Back For Good and Sure. 

But Barlow, now 50 and a father of three, admits he struggled with the superficial aspects of fame – among them image and sex appeal – because they didn’t come naturally to him.  

Opening up: Gary Barlow admits he struggled with his sex symbol status at the height of Take That’s global fame in the 1990s

He told the latest edition of OK!: ‘I think about that. Especially with my own kids. Yeah we were five, but the other guys were four extremely good looking boys. And when we walked onstage, girls went mad. The madder they went, the more we loved it. 

‘We were on the covers of magazines before we had any hits. So image and fashion kind of came first for us. I’ll be honest, it’s always an area I’ve struggled with.’

He added: ‘I was never the cool kid at school. I’ve always felt like I couldn’t be trusted to dress myself – I’m just a guy who writes songs and sits in a studio. 

Old times: The singer-songwriter's face plastered the bedroom walls of teenage girls across the world as Take That's popularity soared with a string of chart-topping hits

Old times: The singer-songwriter’s face plastered the bedroom walls of teenage girls across the world as Take That’s popularity soared with a string of chart-topping hits

‘When Take That came back the second time, it was all about the music, coming back as men, and it felt far more natural to me than it ever did the first time around.’

Gary previously admitted he went through a ‘rough period’ with poor diet and physical health, during which he ‘lost control of himself’.

In the interview for The Sun, Gary said that the food he loved gave him ‘a couple of minutes of a food coma’ and took him ‘out of the real world’, as he gorged on ‘Chinese, chips, crisps’ during that period.

Bandmates: 'We were five, but the other guys were four extremely good looking boys,' he explained (L-R Robbie Williams, Howard Donald, Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Gary Barlow)

Bandmates: ‘We were five, but the other guys were four extremely good looking boys,’ he explained (L-R Robbie Williams, Howard Donald, Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Gary Barlow)

He said: ‘I remember one particular day just thinking: “How have I got here?” I was just so disappointed with myself…

‘So it started there for me and I turned my brain on to sorting out what I ate. The trouble is the food I love – Chinese, chips, crisps. They were giving me a couple minutes of a food coma, taking me out of the real world. It’s just not good, that…

‘So I decided not to have cheat days, and just stay away from those foods. I’d love to have the odd cigarette now and then but I can’t. I can’t start smoking again.

‘I’ve just not got the personality where I can tease myself every so often with something I love because I just end up going down that road again.’ 

Struggle Gary previously admitted he went through a 'rough period' with poor diet and physical health, during which he 'lost control of himself' (pictured in 2005)

The singer in 2018

Struggle Gary previously admitted he went through a ‘rough period’ with poor diet and physical health, during which he ‘lost control of himself’ (pictured left in 2005, and right in 2018)

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