Gary Barlow says it would have taken too many ''rehearsals'' to slot in Robbie Williams on Take That's greatest hits tour.

The trio - completed by Mark Owen and Howard Donald - have been performing across the UK and Europe in support of their 30th anniversary LP 'Odyssey ', and the frontman has admitted they wanted to make it all about the three of them, so part-time member Robbie, who was reported to be in talks to rejoin the group for the special milestone run, was left out this time.

Speaking to the Daily Star newspaper's Wired column, Gary spilled: ''The tour is very much about the three of us, the three of us celebrating the music and the show we made.

''Because it's all come from this album, you know we are basically playing the album from beginning to end as an album and we have never done that before.

''And to slot someone else into it would have taken weeks of rehearsals.''

However, Howard insisted they will never ''shove aside'' Robbie and Jason Orange's contributions to the Manchester boyband.

He added: ''They have been part of our history and you can't just shove that aside.''

The reason rehearsals would have been required is because some of their greatest hits were reworked for 'Odyssey' by their long-time producer Stuart Price.

There had been talk of both of them rejoining the group for the special milestone.

However, Robbie - who quit Take That in 1995, a year before they originally split, and rejoined from 2009 to 2012 - admitted that although he would have loved to mark three decades of the band, he'd only be willing to do it if Jason came back after leaving in 2014.

He said: ''I'm up for it. But I don't know what their calendar says, what my calendar says. I don't know what their manager says.

''We'd all love to do it. I'd love to get Jason back involved, realistically I don't think so.

''If we could get Jay back it would be perfect.''