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Gary Barlow's revealed he suffered a lengthy bout of depression following Take That's split.
The X-Factor judge says he refused to sing and disguised himself to avoid being recognised after being tormented by the failure of his own solo career.
The 40-year-old says he became so full of self-loathing that he began to over-eat, piling on five stone.
In an interview with the Observer Magazine, Gary said, "It was all a bit of a torment," he said. "I was embarrassed to be me, to have people recognise me."
He added how hard he found it to write music, "Within six months, this piano drove me mad. "I would spend days just looking at it, lying underneath it, rubbing my face on it, slowly going insane, trying to work out why this thing wasn't delivering to me like it used to."