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Relight My Ire

Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Howard Donald, and Jason Orange have once again proved they are the nicest men in music - and quite possibly the world.

According to news reports, the lads have expressed their regret at not having done more for Robbie Williams when the booze and drugs started to take hold in the mid-1990s.

Gary laments "missing the signs" that his former band-mate was in trouble, while Mark has said, "I feel a bit guilty now that I wasn’t mature enough to hear his cries."

Jason even appeared to confirm the rumours of Robbie's return to the line-up, saying, "Lets get him back as quickly as possible."

Whatever the ins and outs of Williams' departure from the band back in 1995, it's clear he was a liability. As it turned out, the public wouldn't accept a four-man Take That (how ironic that seems now), so Robbie's meltdown cost them all dearly - particularly Donald and Orange, whose chances of solo success seemed slim at best and proved to be just that.

Now I am far from unsympathetic to Robbie's plight at the time. But my God, didn't he milk it for 10 whole years after he straightened himself out? And didn't he just love putting the boot in when his solo career took off and those of his former band-mates faltered?

Perhaps the others could have done more to help him but I think enduring a decade's worth of snide comments, childish gloating about his solo success, and even personal abuse in his lyrics ("I met the other guys / one seemed like a c*ck" from his song The '90s is a fairly unambiguous reference to Gary Barlow) is more than enough penance for their negligence.

I personally don't think they owe Robbie anything. What do you reckon?

Oh, and by the way, MSN Music will be the first place (including their official site) you'll be able to see the video for TT's new single, Up All Night, on Tuesday 27th of January.

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