British pop stars Take That have canned the international dates of their 30th anniversary tour due to a family illness.

The boy band, comprised of Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, and Mark Owen, planned to travel the world for a concert trek to promote their compilation album Odyssey, but the dates abroad have now been cancelled so that Gary can stay close to home for a sick relative.

"We had a big ambition next year to do a world tour, but I have actually got an illness in my family and it means I am not going to travel for the next two years extensively," he tells British newspaper The Mirror. "So all the plans for South America and Australia that were coming off (have been put to rest)..."

"I thank my two bandmates who have been so very understanding, but I just have to be at home - I cannot leave," the singer adds. "I didn't want people getting frustrated that we're not getting out there. I'm a little stuck at the moment, so please be understanding."

Take That will still be playing European shows on their Greatest Hits Live Tour, which kicks off in April (19) and concludes in June, but fans outside of Europe may have to wait several years to see the group back onstage.

Gary reveals he plans to write a movie with musical heavyweight Tim Rice ahead of taking a sabbatical from performing.

"We've been writing an idea that's set on a cruise ship," he shares of the film. "It was going to be a (stage) musical, however, we do have a film deal pending on it, so I have a feeling that we're going to be writing that as a movie.

"I'm very excited. That will be brand-new music, a brand-new story."

Gary, 47, revealed last month (Nov18) he has been preparing to take some time off for quite a while now.

"I am working so hard because I am planning a year off. A sabbatical," he said. "The last five years I have been working harder because I want to earn myself some serious time off.

"There's stuff I want to do. Things I want to do other than music that I've never had a chance to do."

Take That's Greatest Hits Live Tour will launch in Sheffield, England on 12 April (19).

LATEST NEWS