A million love songs (stolen)

Gary Barlow must be feeling very confident in his position as the 'nation's favourite song-smith'; it takes balls to admit that you've stolen the lyrics for most of your hit songs. In an interview, Barlow confessed that if inspiration was short in supply, he'd simply get thieving. If only N-Dubz had that excuse...

Gary told The Sun, 'Throughout the Nineties I didn't have any views. I always felt lyrics were a weak point for me and I was often a copier of lyrics. I would use other people's emotions. I'd listen to conversations and talk to friends and always stole my lyrics from people around me. I very seldom looked inside myself to write. That's something I've acquired this time round.'

These days, Gary's more canny about tracking down inspiration - after all, there's a multi-million TT industry relying on it, 'One of my best tricks is that every now and again I go and see my mum for a few days. I leave a keyboard there and I set it up in front of the window, overlooking the fields. Suddenly I'm in a whole different situation. It's a new environment.'

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