Leading article: Back for good?

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The fires are re-lit. Take That are back. After 15 years, Robbie Williams has returned to the bosom of the original British boy band. They have even recorded an album of new material that will be released later this year. The pedant would point out that Take That have actually been "back" for a while now. And the string of sell-out concert tours and hit records in recent years would certainly support that case. But, as any longstanding Take That fan would tell you, without Robbie the band were never truly whole.

It all puts us in mind of another widely successful band from the 1990s, whose story we have been reliving through Peter Mandelson's memoirs this week. They started off as ambitious unknowns. For many years they were as close as brothers. They conquered all before them through hard work and willpower. That story too ended in acrimony and tears. And the relationship between the main protagonists never really recovered.

So could it happen, we wonder? Could Peter, Gordon and Tony ever get back together? Alas, even to ask the question is to know the answer. It looks likely that we're going to have to settle for Jason, Mark, Howard, Gary and Robbie.

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