Take That's Howard Donald leaves UK with girlfriend Katie Halil after Jason ... - Daily Mail
Published: 18:55 EST, 25 September 2014 | Updated: 03:07 EST, 26 September 2014
As Jason Orange becomes the second member to turn his back on Take That, Howard Donald could still muster a wide smile as he fled the UK.
He left Heathrow airport with girlfriend Katie Halil on Thursday after a 'sad day' for the band on Wednesday that saw Jason follow in Robbie Williams' footsteps with an exit from the band.
Howard, Mark Owen and Gary Barlow later announced that they will proceed as a three piece - the relief of which was shown on Howard's face as he smiled at departures.
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All-smiles: Howard Donald arrives at Heathrow airport holding hands with girlfriend Katie Halil after Jason Orange leaves Take That
Jason was putting some distance between himself and the other four band members when he joined his black-clad girlfriend at the airport at the end of the week.
He dressed in his comfiest clothes - trainers, joggers and a slouchy holdall - while walking hand-in-hand with the petite brunette.
The 46-year-old clutched a magazine as he kept close conversation.
Katie covered up in a long black overcoat, which she paired with delicate flat sandals, adding a pop of colour to her ensemble with a red lipstick.
She gripped his hand in support but the singer looked tired and disheveled from a hard week.
Laidback: The singer wears his comfiest clothes to take a flight from Heathrow airport
Sad day: The men called it a sad day when Jason announced he was leaving the band for the rest to go ahead a three
Jason revealed his decision to leave the boyband in a statement posted on their website on Wednesday.
He said he had wanted out of the group for some time and had no desire to commit to recording and promoting a new album.
The 44-year-old singer explained: 'At a band meeting last week I confirmed to Mark, Gary and Howard that I do not wish to commit to recording and promoting a new album. There have been no fallings out, only a decision on my part that I no longer wish to do this.'
And he's off: Jason Orange has revealed he quit Take That but denies a falling out with his bandmates
He continued: 'At the end of The Progress Tour I began to question whether it might be the right time for me to not continue on with Take That. At the start of this year and with my full knowledge and blessing the guys began writing new material.'
Jason - who spoke of his pride in all that the British boyband had achieved since they first formed in 1990 - added: 'I know how much Mark, Gary and Howard enjoy writing and making music, and they know that they have my full support and encouragement to continue on with what is to be another chapter for the band.
'I have spent some of the best years of my life with Take That and I'd like to thank everyone who has been a part of my journey, including my band mates, who I feel are like brothers to me.
'Most especially my gratitude goes to all of the good and kind, beautiful and ever-loyal fans of the band, without whom none of this could have been possible.Thank you.'
And then there were three: Howard Donald, Mark Owen and Gary Barlow are set to continue on without Jason
His former bandmates Mark, Gary and Howard revealed they had tried to get Jason to change his mind after he first admitted his unhappiness a few years ago.
They wrote in a statement: 'This is a sad day for us. Jason leaving is a huge loss both professionally and even more so personally.
'We first became aware of Jason's reservations a couple of years ago but had hoped that by giving him the desired time and space he may begin to feel differently.
Happier times: The quartet took part in the 2012 Olympic Games closing ceremony, one of the many highlights of their 24 year career
Take That star Jason Orange to star in final series of Shameless
'This has not been the case and we now have to accept and fully respect his decision which we know hasn't been an easy one.
'Jason's energy and belief in what this band could achieve has made it what it is today, and we'll forever be grateful for his enthusiasm, dedication and inspiration over the years.'
The news comes just as the band are gearing up to release a new album in November, the follow up to their 2010 record Progress.
Of course Jason isn't the first member to quit the band, Robbie Williams famously left the group in 1995.
The way they were: Take That started off with five members, (L-R), Mark Owen, Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange and Robbie Williams