Gary pals up for gig in a return to the day job
GARY BARLOW & FRIENDS
New Year's Day, 9pm, ITV1
MORE than 20 years after young Gary Barlow burst on to the music scene with his Take That pals, the singer-songwriter is back with this gig recorded in December at the Manchester Apollo.
He performs some of his most popular hits, along with TT colleague Mark Owen and boy band JLS.
If that isn't enough to keep fans happy, then perhaps the opportunity to see behind-the-scenes footage from his hit nationwide tour will be.
And he will also be joined by Pussycat Doll-turned-Barlow's fellow X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger.
These days Gary Barlow OBE is a one-man entertainment industry. When he's not penning No 1 records for old mate Robbie Williams, he's busy doing a lot of good work for charity, keeps thousands of fans happy with his gigs and still finds time to front this one-off.
One man who witnessed Take That's rise to fame was Peter Kay, who earned a crust as an usher at the MEN arena.
Proving what a small world it is, it wasn't long before Barlow was penning songs for Kay and the record-breaking funny man was helping pad out TT's TV specials.
More recently, crowds have been going wild as Gary and Peter belted out versions of the Home and Away and The Love Boat themes.
Hilarious stuff, unlike the time judge Gary walked off The X Factor a few months ago. He hated the fact that Louis Walsh couldn't decide whether to keep Rylan Clark or Carolynne Poole and was fuming when Rylan went through to the next round.
However, that hissy fit did make for great drama on a show that at the time was haemorrhaging viewers.
It remains to be seen whether either of them will return for the 2013 series, but with six Ivor Novello awards under his belt and sales of 50 million records worldwide, we get the feeling he's not too worried about where his next job is coming from just yet.
Gary says of the ITV show: "You get a Saturday night out every week in a chair where the whole country wants to be. It's the most exciting thing ever."