Gary Numan returns to OVO Arena Wembley after four decades

ITV News Arts Editor Nina Nannar sits down exclusively with Gary Numan ahead of a return to Wembley four decades in the making.

It is a comeback gig Gary Numan has been dreaming of for four decades.

In April 1981, at the height of his career, Cars and Are Friends Electric having propelled him to overnight success, he took the rash decision to announce his retirement from touring.

Racked with self-doubt, even questioning how a song he wrote in ten minutes, Cars, could have been good enough to become the international hit it did, he made a professional move that he regretted almost instantly.

After he had performed the third of his sell-out farewell gigs at the revered OVO Arena Wembley’, he immediately knew he’d made a mistake.

Gary Numan with the Ivors Inspiration Award during the 62nd Annual Ivor Novello Music Awards in 2017. Credit: PA

Stepping away from touring, sitting in the arena after it had emptied, on the edge of the stage and asking himself what he’d done.

He would spend the next four decades trying to reach that same level of success that would bring him back to Wembley.

And, come May 7th, he will have made that longed-for return journey, playing back at the 10 and a half thousand seater venue, now known as the Ovo Arena Wembley.

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In recent years Numan has experienced a late resurgence in his career, his last two albums, Savage and Intruder, earning rave reviews and reaching number two in the album charts.

It has been an unusual career trajectory, but now at 64, the man whose fans numbered Prince, Kanye West and Lady Gaga is more confident in his skin than the 23-year-old who suddenly reached a level of success that simply scared him.

Like many artists, Gary Numan has had to reschedule concerts, delayed by the pandemic, so the Wembley 40th anniversary comeback had to be put on hold until this year.

But for him, never has a gig been more anxiously anticipated.

He has some ghosts to lay to rest, and after a 41-year wait, he can now savour every moment.