Take that! Gary Barlow turns the table on his Cabariot critics by announcing his first cabaret tour.

Gary Barlow will be looking forward to performing alongside Jason Orange and Howard Donald.

Gary Barlow will be looking forward to performing alongside Jason Orange and Howard Donald.

Take That star Gary Barlow has announced that this autumn he will be a headlining a series of shows across the North of England. The twist? He will be abandoning his repertoire of pop hits to sing songs from the Great American and British songbooks.

Barlow recently left his high-profile role on The X Factor to “concentrate on his career” but not before stirring up his fair share of controversy. As a judge, he often lambasted acts by saying “that was too cabaret”, something that the variety scene took first to heart and then to the internet. First, they created images of themselves with the words “too cabaret” written across clothing or their bodies. When that didn’t get the message across, they collaborated on the seminal “Cabariot” video. Even Paul L Martin got a little bit irate.

It seems the protest has inspired Barlow’s new career spin. He will heading out in September after roadtesting his new show at the Edinburgh Fringe. “The plan is to try out his new lounge act there and get some rock solid reviews behind him. We think the student bloggers will dig him in an ironic way and five stars are five stars in anyone’s language,” said our source.

He won’t be alone on this venture. Take That bandmate Jason Orange will be taking time off from watching daytime TV to join him in an unspecified capacity. “Jason hasn’t been this excited since he got one of the questions right on Cash Cab,” our source continued. And that’s not all: “Howard Donald wants in too. He’s taken time out of his schedule to learn the ukulele one string at a time.”

Suggestions that all this is another of Barlow’s tax dodges have been strongly dismissed. “This is no Springtime for Hitler” reckons our source. As a support act, Barlow is even bringing his alter ego Ronan Keating on the road to help dull the audience into submission. “Many people still think Ronan is a real person but have you seen the pair in the same room together? When the press were reporting Ronan was AWOL from the family home, doing rehab at The Priory or shagging some bimbo way out of his league, Gary was touring around the world with Take That. Do the maths. Now piss off.”

A family friend confirmed that Barlow had taken inspiration from a modern cabaret luminary. “Gary loved the way that Alexander Armstrong made such a big media splash last year. In fact, he’s thinking of taking a leaf out of Alex’s book and naming his new show A Whole Load Of Old Strippers in tribute.”

Should this initial tour be a success, Barlow will be hoping to hit the high seas and become a cruise ship entertainer. All aboard!

Happy April Fools Day!