Great Britain's national treasure, Gary Barlow has achieved unrivalled success with boyband Take That, as a solo artist and songwriter, and as a judge on The X Factor. However, the path to fame is rarely easy and Gary's journey has been full of inspiring highs and distinct lows. From happy beginnings growing up in Frodshaw, Cheshire, as the second son to Marge and Colin Barlow, Gary spent his youth immersing himself in music, writing songs and learning how to play the piano. By the age of 15, Gary was struggling to break into the music industry and doing a string of gigs around the UK, before landing what was to be the job that propelled him into the limelight. After hiring Barry Wooley as his manager, Gary was soon in talks with casting agent Nigel Martin-Smith. Realising Gary's potential, and admiring an early demo of ' A Million Love Songs', Nigel signed him up as the front man for new boy bad Take That, and the rest, as they say, is history. Between 1990 and 1996, Take That sold millions of records, packed out area tours and created an army of fans, who were subsequently devastated when Take That announced their split in 1996. Gary made an attempt at a solo career , but it wasn't to be, and he slipped out of the public consciousness before finding the confidence to begin songwriting and collaborating with other artists to make his records. In 2005, Gary's life was to take another unexpected turn when Take That announced they were getting back together. With a new lease of life, they went onto have continued, record- breaking, success. Gary was soon offered a slot as head judge on ITV's hit TV show The X Factor, and in 2012 he was awarded an OBE - providing that there was more to him than Take That.