BEFORE Take That appear at the Coronation Concert next month, frontman and social climber Gary Barlow explains how to constantly attempt to be a national treasure:
When you’re vaguely remembered, half-heartedly tolerated and have been around for yonks like I have, you might feel like a national treasure. But put yourself in the same bracket at Judi Dench when chatting at a party and you’ll get slapped down fucking sharp.
Still work to do, then. Which is why I’m always up one Royal arse or other, and why I follow these rules:
Be a multi-millionaire of the people
When you’re disgustingly wealthy it’s easy to seem an aloof, unsympathetic wanker. Avoid this at all costs. Cling onto your grizzled Manc accent and bang on about your roots like Frodsham in Cheshire was where Engels wrote The Conditions of the Working Class in England about. Gloss over the tax thing. That doesn’t go down well.
Cosy up to the Royals
I’m more overdue for a Knighthood than Bruce Forsyth. All I’ve got’s an OBE, and Damon Albarn and Posh Spice have those. That’s why I’m on speed-dial at the Palace – literally, he’s 74, he still uses speed dial. Gary’s been a good lad. Gary needs his Knighthood. Sir Gary’s national treasure status is guaranteed.
Pop up at every major event
The Coronation is just the latest. Olympics 2012 closing ceremony? Tick. Diamond Jubilee? Tick. The X-Factor when it was just about still good? Tick. Royal Variety? Countless. If you’re not omnipresent you’re not on the list. You need the column inches. The TV coverage. The positive reinforcement. To climb Kilimanjaro for Red Nose Day.
Keep on flogging
I could have clinched it a decade ago if Robbie hadn’t stolen my solo career. But since our comeback we’ve kept on touring, releasing albums, slugging away like Barbara Windsor in EastEnders to make sure no fucker can forget us. Christ knows I don’t need the money. I just can’t rest until I’m spoken about in the same breath as John Craven.
Play the long game
35 years in showbiz, banging out hit after hit, and still I’m so nondescript I’m regularly mistake for Matt Damon. Our teenage fans passed through MILF at the end of the 00s and now you can watch hot flushes travel through the stadium like a Mexican wave. Ian McKellen was in his 60s when anyone started giving a shit. I’ll get there eventually. You will love me.