Gary Barlow entered talent show

Before his meteoric rise to stardom Gary was just another hopeful.

He may be a songwriter supreme, a platinum selling artist and a multi-millionaire but one day he was just another hopeful.

Back in 1989 a fresh-faced Gary entered a talent show at the The Willows Club in Salford to take part in the Manchester Evening News Search For A Star contest.

Sadly, his efforts weren't quite up to scratch and he ended up in 3rd place.

gary barlow
Then and now: Fresh faced hopeful turned superstar...

Former MEN editor Michael, a judge on the night, described the young Gary as a likeable young man but one who never really took charge of the stage during his performance.

He told the paper: "The visions I have in my head was of a 17 year old boy who was nice on stage but not particularly special."

"He was just a nice young boy who had potential, I guess his weakness, if there was one, was his age as it was very hard for us to know if he was going to be a star."

"But we did spot that he had potential as he won a special award on the night for displaying "best long term prospects" so we did get something right!"

Despite losing out at the Search For A Star talent quest, 1989 happened to be the year that he met music manager Nigel Martin-Smith and his path to fame began to be mapped out.

Recently Played Tracks

To listen live, choose your preferred location:


On TV: 55 Biggest 90's Club Classics

4pm - 8pm

Watch heart TV

  • Artful Dodger Re-Rewind



  • Westend The Love I Lost



  • Sub Sub Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use)



  • N-Trance Set You Free