Take That have called off their upcoming world tour.

The group were expected to hit the road in 2019 to celebrate 30 years as a band but they have drastically scaled back their plans and will only tour in Europe as Gary Barlow wants to stay close to home due to an illness in his family.

He told the Daily Mirror: ''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.

''So all the plans for South America and Australia that were coming off...

''I thank my two bandmates who have been so very understanding, but I just have to be at home - I cannot leave.

''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.''

Gary, Mark Owen and Howard Donald are set to start the tour in April and former bandmate Robbie Williams has said he will join them if their schedules match up.

He recently said: ''As long as we stay healthy, I'm sure there'll be another moment where we all get together.

''Maybe we can coax Jason [Orange] back, who knows? We shall have to see. But definitely, definitely in the future.

''We will all ride again. Next year when the boys are on tour, I'm on tour too.

''If we're in the same place at the same time, there's an open mic at my gig. I'm sure there's an open mic at theirs too. ''I would like to if we are in the same place, then I'm definitely in.

''I think there is a mic open for me. It's an open invitation both ways. If I'm about I'll be there. They are on tour when Hyde Park is happening otherwise they would be there.''