Take That members begged Jason Orange to stay with the band.
Howard said: ''We were hanging on, hoping he would come back.
''At every opportunity, regardless of whether we were writing in the States, we were like, 'Are you coming?' ''
Gary also revealed that they had left space on their new album, which is titled 'III', for the absent singer.
He said: ''We started the new record just before last Christmas, so until two weeks ago we left this big hole for Jay in case he was gonna say: 'Yes I'm in.''
However, the guys were adamant that Jason's departure won't change things for the band and they explained that they plan to keep in contact.
Mark said: ''Take That is our most comfortable place, being in this band is a family.
''Even when we're not working we see each other. We saw Jay a few weeks ago and had a sort of goodbye. There's something nice about coming together.''
They even hinted that former member, Robbie Williams could return to the band for another tour and album, as Howard said: ''The door is always open.''
Although the band - whose first single 'These Days' is available from November 23 - are staying positive, it appears as though their work was affected by Jason's absence.
Mark shared: ''It was quite downbeat, and we needed to change it to bring more energy to it. I think Gary said, 'We're not writing a retirement record.' ''
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