Arts: Award for Take That writer

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Take That, hitherto the idols of pubescent record buyers, came of age yesterday as their songwriter Gary Barlow was feted at the Ivor Novello Awards, the major international award for popular music composers.

The 25-year-old multi-millionaire singer-songwriter of the group, which split up earlier this year, won the Most Performed Work Award and Best Selling Song Title for his international hit "Back For Good".

Also victorious was Noel Gallagher from Oasis, who shared the Songwriter of the Year title with arch-rivals Blur at the Grosvenor Park Hotel, London. Gallagher and singer-songwriter Damon Albarn of Blur were not there to accept the awards from the lyricist Sir Tim Rice.

Also absent was the United States-based singer Seal, who won the International Hit of the Year Award for "Kiss From a Rose".

Gallagher's snub amused Sir Tim, who said: "I am going to accept Noel's award and if he wants it he's bloody well going to have to come and get it."

However, many industry sources felt that Gallagher was right to resent the Ivor Novello Awards for involving an internationally respected award in the Blur/Oasis publicity battle.