Take That bring out surprise guests in first major UK show in four years

The band dedicated 2008 song The Garden to cancer survivor Laura (Jordan Pettitt/PA)
The band dedicated 2008 song The Garden to cancer survivor Laura (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Take That wowed fans introducing Eurovision winner Lulu and Britain’s Got Talent star Calum Scott during their headline performance at the British Summer Time (BST) festival in London.

Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen reunited on Saturday for their only UK live date of the year marking the 10th anniversary of the annual concert series in London’s Hyde Park.

The pop trio shocked fans while performing hit disco song Relight My Fire when singer and former X Factor judge Barlow brought out Scottish star Lulu, who gave a powerful rendition of the track as fire burst on the stage.

BST Hyde Park
Gary Barlow from Take That performing on stage at BST Hyde Park in London (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

The show also saw the band bring out singer Scott, 34, who duetted with Barlow on Greatest Day, having re-worked the 2008 song for the band’s musical film.

Owen said: “We thought we couldn’t be here tonight in the middle of Hyde Park without asking Calum to sing for us, the song that introduced him and his beautiful voice to the world,” before Scott sang his hit track Dancing On My Own.

During the show, the trio read out a number of humorous banners that were being displayed at the front of the crowd, with Barlow reading out a “great one” which said: “This song is older than us.”

Owen replied: “That’s probably a lot of our songs.”

Another banner read “Gary, can I marry your son?” and “I left my husband in hospital to be here”, with another more emotional banner reading: “Today is my greatest day, I made it through cancer” – which won a rapturous applause from the audience and the group.

BST Hyde Park
Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

The band dedicated 2008 song The Garden to cancer survivor Laura, as well as the “two million people on the Pride parade”, with multi-coloured confetti raining down on the thousands of fans throughout the show.

Take That also thanked their troupe of dancers, with Owen saying: “It’s not easy running up and down these stairs.”

He continued: “In rehearsals, our run from there to there was about five feet so we were doing it quite easy but when we turned up here today we had an extra 50 metres so we had to run a little bit faster so we might miss a few of our cues tonight so I apologise for that.

“This is our first proper show since I think 2019, how amazing that we can do this because a few years ago we couldn’t do things like this so we really appreciate that you’re all coming out again seeing shows.”

Before a rendition of 2006 hit Patience, Barlow said: “In the middle of this 30 years, we didn’t perform together, we weren’t a band at all. So when we did eventually come back, we were amazed to see this amazing audience waiting to see us again.

“And oh my goodness did we need a song at that point, it’s so funny because after all the years of being together, we finally learnt to work as a team.

“We went in the studio and wrote this next song we are about to sing, it’s the song that brought us back.”

BST Hyde Park
The band dedicated 2008 song The Garden to cancer survivor Laura (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

During the show, Barlow also took to the piano and told fans before singing Said It All: “There is always a song you look forward to on a set list, and we are about to do that song for you right now.”

The group asked fans to sing Never Forget “loud and proud”, with Donald adding: “By the way Jim Steinman produced this song, rest in peace.”

Finishing the show with a rendition of Rule The World, Barlow said: “It’s been a pleasure to perform for you… It’s been great to see you and we hope to see you all next year on tour.”

Take That performed after chart-topping Irish band The Script, who dedicated a song to their late guitarist Mark Sheehan and telling fans it was a “full circle moment” having supported Take That before shows 15 years ago.