Gary Barlow has admitted lockdown was a “treat” because he had his kids back home.
The Take That frontman’s eldest children, Daniel, 21, and 18-year-old Emily are studying at university so he and wife Dawn – who also have 12-year-old daughter Daisy – were secretly thrilled that they returned to their house during the coronavirus pandemic because they never get to spend so much time with them any more.
He said: “I think the greatest unspoken treat of lockdown was having all the kids back, as there was no way they would have stayed with us for three months voluntarily.
“Obviously there were many bad points but things like that, you’ll never get that time back.
“It’s been an awful time, but it’s also been a time of reflection and time that we would never have had otherwise – we’ve never been allowed to pause.”
After cancelling his 50th birthday plans due to lockdown, Gary would “love” to have a big celebration for his 51st in January, but he knows already that it won’t happen.
He said in a recent interview: “I’d love to, but it’s just an awful time to try to plan anything.
“My wife’s away, my daughter’s away – no one cares about poor old me.
“It’ll be another low-key birthday, much to my disappointment.”
Gary has struggled with his weight for years, and he previously admitted to tipping the scales at 17 stone following Take That's split.
The chart-topping singer confessed to going through a "rough period" when he "lost control of himself".
He shared: "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."