Gary Barlow says Sir Paul McCartney taught him to keep writing songs to find a hit.

The Take That star is responsible for chart toppers like 'Everything Changes', 'Back For Good' and 'Greatest Day' and he has revealed that from conversations with McCartney, 79, he learned that the key to successful song writing is perseverance.

He said:" "What I learned is that, ‘You know that one song, but I wrote 70 to get that one.’ It’s just the way it is – and I was pleased to know it’s no different for Paul McCartney."

He went on to note how much "hard work" it takes to really pen a hit that will storm the charts.

He said: "The one thing you get from it is just that it takes a lot of hard work. There’s no one on Earth who [delivers] platinum records every time they sit and write – I just don’t believe that. It’s about a continuous slog, and somewhere along that route, some little diamond might arrive. And I think the more you do it, the harder you try at it, the more likely those diamonds are to arrive along the journey than just going in a studio for 12 days every three years to try and make an album. It just doesn’t work like that."

It comes as the 50-year-old pop star prepares to release his first festive album 'The Dream of Christmas', which drops on November 26.

He told Music Week magazine: "“I know people who’ve done Christmas albums before and they always say to try and do them at Christmas because you’re in the spirit – doing it in May is much different. I came up with these songs and I felt like some of them could be great."

The 'Shine' singer is set to tour to promote the Christmas album, as well as Music Played by Humans, which topped the UK charts when it was released in November 2020.

He said: "When the tour moved to Christmas, it started to make sense. “I’m now going to be touring two albums, which is something I’ve never done before. I thought, ‘I don’t usually tour in December, we can turn the whole stage into Christmas, we can make it snow…’ It all started to make sense to me. Because of all the stuff that happened last Christmas, I thought, ‘Bloody hell, this could be the biggest Christmas we ever know.’ I know there is talk of all the radio stations going 100 per cent Christmas about three weeks earlier than they normally would and maybe that’s a sign that it is going to go that way. And I’m celebrating it this year with a record and by going on tour. It’s going to be a big December for me.”