He was one fifth of the biggest man band in the country - but six years ago Jason Orange turned his back on fame and walked away from Take That.

It left fans of the multi-million selling band devastated and since his bombshell decision, Jason has rarely been photographed in public.

At the time he insisted there was no bad feeling between him and his former bandmates, Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams, Howard Donald and Mark Owen.

Instead, Jason heaped praise on his fellow Take Thatters with an emotional statement.

He said: "I want to start by saying how proud I am of what we have achieved together over the years.

"However, 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.

Jason Orange quit Take That in 2014
Jason Orange quit Take That in 2014

"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.

"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.

"There have been no fallings out, only a decision on my part that I no longer wish to do this.

"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."

Jason and Take That in the early days
Jason and Take That in the early days

At the time, Howard claimed Jason had simply "fallen out of love with music" as he shunned the limelight and embraced the quiet life.

Gary added: "He didn’t want creative involvement because we’re day-to-day on this and he wanted to leave.

"This has been weird with the whole Jason thing. He’d told us for a while, ‘I don’t want to be in music any more, I don’t want to do this any more’, and we’d push, push, push.

"At the end of the day you’ve got to accept someone doesn’t want to do what you’re doing any more.

"He wanted to go off, live his life, and good luck to him if that’s what he wants to do. He’s spent a big part of his life being in the band, but he doesn’t want to do it any more, it’s that simple."

Take That back in 1993
Take That back in 1993

However, Take That's former manager, Nigel Martin Smith, claimed Jason had long been struggling to find his place in the band.

He said: "When I put Jason in the band he loved it but he turned around years later and said he was upset with me.

“He said he couldn’t sing, he wasn’t a musician and I had no right to put him in the band. He wanted to know why I did it to him.

“I said, ‘Jay, you’ve travelled the world first class, stayed in five-star hotels, had women throwing themselves at you, had the most amazing life, with how many millions in the bank’.

The band reformed and enjoyed a second take of success
The band reformed and enjoyed a second take of success

“That’s how bizarre it is.”

And since he walked away from the band in 2014, Jason has rarely been spotted.

He has even stepped so far out of the limelight that his former bandmates have put out public appeals for him to get in touch after he stopped taking calls from pals.

Robbie admitted he hadn't heard from Jason in months and that he should "hire a private detective" to find him last December.

Jason seems to have fully embraced the quiet life and was simply holed up in a village in the Cotswolds.

Howard Donald, Mark Owen, Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams and Jason Orange of Take That
Howard Donald, Mark Owen, Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams and Jason Orange of Take That

He was spotted queuing in a dry cleaners in the picturesque village of Chipping Norton.

And it looks like a life in the country agrees with the former boy bander as he was said to be house hunting in nearby Stow-on-the-Wold.

An insider told the Sun : “Last month Jason booked into a hotel in Stow and spent the week looking around the area eyeing up houses.

"He looked around a couple of areas including Moreton-in-Marsh and was being shown properties that cost around the £10million mark.

“The places he viewed included an enormous manor house which was set back from the road and very secluded.

Jason is enjoying the quiet life
Jason is enjoying the quiet life

"Jason likes the idea of living a quiet life in the countryside and the Cotswolds is a really desirable place to be. Plus it’s not far from London.”

This isn't the first time Jason is believed to have escaped to the country.

In the run up to Take That's last tour, his former bandmates had reached out to him and he was enjoying the quiet life in the rural market town of Kendal in Cumbria.

Close to the Lake District and surrounded by rolling hills, Jason was said to be relishing life outside the limelight.

At the time Howard said: "He’s not taking emails or phone calls or stuff like that. That’s good for him.

"That’s where he wants to be. I think he wants to be a million miles away from this at the moment."

Best selection of showbiz long reads

He was spotted buying a pair of wellies and in 2017 was seen enjoying a meal at Zeffirellis restaurant in Ambleside in the Lake District.

Jason seemed to have made the Lake District his base as he was also pictured chatting to a netball team in a pub in Kirkby Londsale and in a supermarket in Windermere.

So it seems like Take That's fifth member won't be joining his ex-bandmates on stage any time soon.