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Christmas with Gary Barlow... a peek into his family's 'chaotic' celebrations

The Take That singer has just released his first festive album

gary barlow tinsel
Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
13 December 2021
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Having just released his very first festive album The Dream of Christmas last month, it seemed only fitting to chat to Gary Barlow for our Christmas Digital Issue, which has been guest-edited by Martine McCutcheon.

In his album, Gary shares his take on holiday classics while also collaborating with the likes of Sheridan Smith, Aled Jones, The Puppini Sisters and Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

We put Gary in the festive hot seat to hear how the Take That singer typically spends Christmas Day – "bloody chaos," he says!

Martine McCutcheon stars on our Christmas Digital Cover

We usually spend Christmas at…

Well this changes as we have a three-year pattern in which we'll have my mum for Christmas one year, my wife Dawn's parents the next year, then a Christmas with just us as a family. We often travel for this one but in the other years we would be in London.

READ: Strictly's Dan Walker reveals his very quirky Christmas family tradition

READ: Jasmine Harman shares her tear-jerking Christmas tradition at home

Christmas in the Barlow household is like…

Bloody chaos! I try to get up early to walk the dogs before everyone else is up, then we open presents around the tree. Then Dawn and I start the dinner to get that on the table for 3ish. Then we indulge in a drink (or two) and maybe watch a movie.

We wake up on Christmas morning at…

I wake at 6ish and walk the mutts – then everyone else surfaces at 8ish!

The first thing we do is…

PRESENTS! We usually open them at around 9am by the Christmas tree.

READ: Prince William and Kate's royal photographer reveals how to take the perfect Christmas photos

For breakfast, we eat…

Always a light breakfast of toast or porridge. You want to hold off in preparation for the main event...

For Christmas lunch, we eat…

Turkey, roasters, pigs in blankets, Yorkshire puds – the whole lot.

RECIPE: Gordon Ramsay's alternative dessert to Christmas pudding 

We usually leave all the cooking to…

Dawn and I split all the cooking.

gary barlow christmas album

The Dream of Christmas by Gary Barlow, £10.99, Amazon


After our big meal, we like to…

Walk the dogs for some fresh air.

My favourite Christmas films are…

It's a Wonderful Life and Elf.

My favourite Christmas game is…


The best Christmas present I've ever received was…

My first keyboard! It got me started on this wonderful journey.

There's usually an argument about…

What to watch on TV.

READ: Trisha Goddard solves your most common Christmas dilemmas

My most memorable Christmas was…

When we had our first child Daniel. Doing all the presents that year was just magical.

We end the day by…

Falling asleep in front of the TV.

If I had to pick just one thing I love about Christmas, it would be…

I love happiness and Christmas for most people is a celebration. That's why I love concerts and making music so much – it makes me, and often other people, happy!!

Gary Barlow's new album The Dream of Christmas is out now.

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