So farewell then, Take That

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The Independent Online
So, Britain's biggest pop band is to split up. It's been on the news, it's in the papers. The lads confirmed it themselves. The phenomenon of Take That (Music Superstars Inc) is over.

You may laugh and you may scoff. You've seen it all before with everyone from the Monkees to Bros. It happens. Oh dear, what a shame - and who is the next big thing? But it's not that simple to everyone.

All over Europe there are 14-year-old girls crying their eyes out. And in quiet corners there are much older pop fans with a hint of a tear in their eye. And the parents of adolescent fans may also be sorry to see the demise of such clean-living idols.

Take That were, in short, a fantastic pop band. They produced seven singles that went straight to number one in the British singles chart. No band without talent could achieve that level of success. And no matter what happens in the future, when we hear Take That tunes on the radio they will still sound good.

But Take That were more than just a pop group to many people. To the real fans, Take That represented a way of life. Four lads from Manchester (and one from Stoke-on-Trent) were the wishes, desires and daydreams of many a young lass. Take That were the first lads girls fell in love with. Concerts, telly shows and posters on the wall made it all seem very real. Playground chat followed the lads' every move - and videotapes meant they could be seen, again and again, in living rooms everywhere.

Now, with a cheery press conference, Mark, Howard, Jason and Gary are gone. The girls have been jilted. It seems overly dramatic, but it's true. Many a heart lies broken this Valentine's Day.

Of course, you might say, it's just a fad. Even the most ardent fan will get over it sooner or later. In a few months those same walls may

well be plastered with Boyzone pictures, and Ronan and Stephen may well replace Marky and Rob as the main objects of schoolgirl desire. It's true. It's natural. It happens. But right now it's difficult for some to see that it's not the end of everything. Fans may grow up and fans may get married, but they will always have a soft spot for Take That. They will Never Forget.

A glittering solo career beckons for Gary. Robbie - the first to leave last summer - is getting ready for his comeback. And Jason, Howard and Mark will surely find their niche. As Take That, they provided us with entertainment for five fabulous years - and we should thank them and wish them luck.

Helen Lamont is a feature writer at 'Smash Hits' magazine.