AceShowbiz - Gary Barlow admits he was "drowning in jealously" after Robbie Williams left Take That for a solo career. As the "Angels" hitmaker went on to become one of the world's biggest solo stars after leaving the band in 1995, the "Back for Good" hitmaker wishes he was the one who ditched his bandmates.
"I felt a bit jealous that I wasn't the one who'd stood up and said, 'Up yours, I wanna have some fun. I'm a pop-star, I'm going to behave like one for a bit.' None of us wanted to leave Take That, but watching someone else leave I - we all - couldn't help but think about taking the leap too," he spilled in his new tome, "A Different Stage"."
The following year, Gary released his debut solo single, "Forever Love", but he's failed to achieve the same success alone as Robbie has. No matter how successful they were, both stars were plighted by substance abuse.
Gary recalled piling on the pounds after he turned to marijuana, nicotine and food for comfort after his solo career failed to alight, and then locking himself away as he was "ashamed" of his eating disorder.
He penned, "My confidence was shot, I had become terrified of my piano. I went to my studio most days only to pretend to work. Weed, fags, coffee, booze and beige food were a way to take the pain away. I purged into darkness, in private, alone, in the farthest corners of my pop-star mansion. I was ashamed of my bulimia."
He described himself as "drowning in jealousy for my old bandmate Robbie." The 51-year-old star added, "Was that my shame at what had happened with my career and all the feelings I had that I couldn't make sense of? Was the bulimia my 'unexpressed emotions' . . . come forth in uglier ways?"
Take That - also formerly including 52-year-old Jason Orange - are now a three-piece with Gary joined by Mark Owen, 50, and Howard Donald, 54.
Gary recently said he always knew Robbie, 48, would be a huge solo star right from the early days of their time together in Take That, and admitted he was always "in competition" with the "Rock DJ" singer to be at the forefront, whereas the rest of the group, weren't looking for the limelight.
He said, "I'd have identified him, definitely. He was talented very naturally, he was. It's possibly where we were in competition and the others weren't, really. Rob was wanting to get to the front. He had a great voice, very natural given talent he had."
"Gary Barlow: A Different Stage" is available now in bookshops and online.