Exclusive: Gary Barlow says his doting wife Dawn thought he was going through a 'mid-life crisis' when he took a gamble and reformed Take That in 2005.
The X Factor judge recalled the moment he resurrected himself from the pop wilderness, insisting he'll always put his music career before his X Factor stardom.
'Dawn calls the Take That reunion my midlife crisis,' the Back For Good singer told Metro after he shed the pounds and dusted off the dance moves to return to No 1.
'Instead of getting the sports car, the house etc I re-joined my band and went out and had fun for a few years. It's been amazing and still continues to be.'
'I'm an artist first and foremost, that's my day job so it's no contest from that point of view,' he said of his TV talent show job amid rumours he will toss it in at the end of this series for yet another Take That reunion.
Speaking on the eve of re-launching a second try at a solo career, Barlow insisted the legacy of the man band was more important to him than trying to prove his naysayers wrong after his last solo turn fizzled out in 1999.
'Going deeper into that, I'm in Take That as my main job, that's how I see myself. If I could do a little record myself every five years or so and make enough back to make another record and tour I'd be happy,' he said ahead of the debut of his new video Let Me Go on Vevo on Monday.
'The X Factor is totally different. It's given me more confidence having to be on camera all that time, exposed in front of the millions of people that watch the show it's a different muscle needed to deal with X Factor than music.'
As for trying to cut it as just 'Gary Barlow' again, the star explained he was encouraged by the reaction to his mini solo tour last year.
'I'm at my happiest when I'm writing, recording and performing it was just a matter of being the right time. I decided to make this album when the solo tour at the end of last year. I just had something inside me that felt it was time to put something down onto a record,' he said.
'Sometimes I forget to have fun doing what I do and while I was making this record I made sure I had fun.'