Gary Barlow is to embark on a solo tour next year.

Gary Barlow

Gary Barlow

The 'Open Road' singer to to leave his Take That bandmates, Mark Owen and Howard Donald, behind when he heads out for a series of "intimate UK gigs" during the first half of 2018.

Since Take That reformed in 2005, Gary, 46, has previously gone on tour alone in 2014, when he played 18 concerts in support of his solo album 'Since I Saw You Last', but this time round he has nothing to promote but is simply going on the road because he loves performing live.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "Gary loves gigging, it's his passion.

"With no huge Take That commitments at the start of 2018 he's going to fill the void by going on a solo tour. He wants to play theatres and intimate venues rather than arenas."

The 'Patience' hitmaker is opting for smaller venues because he enjoyed Take That's intimate show at the Roundhouse in Camden, north London, in 2015 so much, and also after being impressed by the sound quality at the Manchester Opera House when he attended the opening night of Take That musical 'The Band' last month.

Looking further ahead, Gary recently admitted the group are making big plans to celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2022, for which they hope will involve sometime member Robbie Williams and former bandmate Jason Orange.

He said: "We are looking to do something, hopefully maybe get Robbie on board, and Jason.

"I don't think anything we do with Rob is going to relate to like a big 25-year project.

"In fact, I'll tell you this for the first time, we're looking at 30 years.

"We're planning something to do for the 30-year all together.

"We're looking that far ahead, something big, maybe a new record, maybe a greatest hits with a big tour."

However, he later admitted Jason is unlikely to return.