It is "not necessary" for Gary Barlow to return his OBE despite his involvement in an aggressive tax avoidance scheme, the Prime Minister has told Good Morning Britain.
David Cameron said the Take That singer had "done a huge amount for the country".
But the Prime Minister said the scheme that Barlow and bandmates Howard Donald and Mark Owen invested in was clearly "wrong" and said: "It's right that they are going to have to pay back the money."
The Take That trio may have to pay back £26 million after Judge Colin Bishop ruled that 51 partnerships set up by Icebreaker Management were used for tax avoidance purposes.
Gary Barlow has spoken about how his heartbreak over the stillbirth of his daughter and the death of his father influenced his latest album.
In a new BBC documentary, When Corden Met Barlow, the 43-year-old singer speaks for the first time about the loss of his daughter Poppy in August 2012, three years after his father Colin died.
He suggests to interviewer James Corden that he is channelling the people he has lost and is using "someone else's" voice.
Barlow said: "From that thing happening, to my dad's passing, there's a lot of them in this record with me.
"I wanted it to be a celebratory record because that's where we're at in our lives with the whole thing that happened. And it makes me really happy when I see people going crazy to that song."
He added: "It keeps a life and a flame in the whole thing.
The film to be screened on BBC1 on Monday at 9pm.
Happy new year everyone xxxx
Happy new year. Be young. Be foolish. Be happy.
Departing X Factor judge Gary Barlow has admitted he might return to the singing show after failing to get an act in this weekend's final.
His last act, Rough Copy, were voted off last week. Barlow said: "I'm very disappointed they went. They were so close, but I've got a very relaxing weekend - you might even see my feet on the desk.
"I'm disappointed. There's a reason to come back in the future. Maybe, maybe, not next year. It's been nice. I've had three beautiful years on the show, really enjoyed it, met some friends for life, but it's time to go."
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Gary Barlow has recently returned from a morale-boosting visit to perform to British troops at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.
The Take That star, who performed a concert at the base, was filming for a one-off television programme for ITV to be broadcast later this year.
He also took time out of his three-day visit to go on a five-kilometre run with some of the squaddies.
He later tweeted: “Just got back from an incredible trip to meet the troops in Afghanistan. What an amazing experience and a lovely bunch of people. Thank you Camp Bastion!”
The X-Factor judge Gary Barlow has joined British troops in Afghanistan as part of a one-off show to be broadcast later this year.
Twitter images show the Take That star meeting squaddies and posing with written messages for their family.
He performed a concert for the troops, which will be aired in the hour-long ITV special in December
An ITV spokeswoman said: “We can confirm Gary is doing a one off special to broadcast on ITV later in the year.
"Owing to security restrictions it would be inappropriate to release any further information at this stage.”
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