Take That Announces 20-Date Reunion Tour
Take That Announces 20-Date Reunion Tour

R eunited with singer Robbie Williams after 15 years, British band Take That announced a 20-date tour on Tuesday, with bookies predicting their forthcoming album will top the U.K. Christmas charts.

The tour of Britain and Europe will be Take That's first as a quintet since 1995 -- and the band vowed they would share a dressing room just like in their old boy band days of the 1990s. "We've always shared a dressing room. And I'll be carrying on that tradition too," said Williams, who rejoined the band earlier this year.

While his solo career has faltered in recent years, Take That, who broke up in 1996, have enjoyed renewed success after reforming in 2005 without Williams. A tour last year to promote the 2008 album, "The Circus," broke British box-office records when it sold 600,000 tickets in less than five hours.

Take That, Williams Have Big Plans for Reunion

"It's funny because when Rob watched the Circus tour, he said, 'I want to do that, but with me in it,'" said singer Mark Owen at a news conference. "So that's what we're aiming to do -- the same thing, but with Rob in it."

Gary Barlow, the band's primary songwriter said this year's tour is going to be a big production stadium show. "It's going to be a spectacular event," he said.

The first tour date will be on May 30 in Sunderland, northern England and will continue to locations in Europe in July, including Milan and dates in Scandinavia and Germany. Tickets for the tour will go on sale on Friday at 9 a.m.

In August, Barlow had suggested that Williams would not remain with the band for long. "This is our 20th year for all of us. ... So do to a one-off album, maybe a one-off tour would be a great thing this year," Barlow said then in an interview. "I think once we've done that Rob will go back to being Rob and we'll go back to being a four." But at Tuesday's news conference, Williams said: "We're not putting a timeline on it."

Robbie Williams Rejoins Take That

The tour announcement capped a successful week for the band. On Monday, they received a Hall of Fame award from the music magazine Q. Now Ladbrokes bookmakers have made them 8/15 favorites to have the Christmas Number One Album in Britain this year with "Progress," which is set for release next month. The album is tipped to outsell rivals JLS and Justin Bieber, who both release albums in November.

Take That rose to fame in the 1990s with dance pop tunes and ballads like "Back for Good" and "Relight My Fire," selling 25 million records and becoming the blueprint for boy band success. They were the first band since the Beatles to sell four consecutive number one singles.

(Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Steve Addison and Paul Casciato)

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