Gary Barlow is to join forces with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber on a song to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The song will feature in the Diamond Jubilee Concert, a musical spectacular to be staged on June 4 in front of Buckingham Palace, alongside performances from Jessie J, Alfie Boe, Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney and many more stars of rock and pop.
Describing the collaboration as “probably the biggest challenge I’ve ever taken on musically”, the Take That singer and X-Factor judge Barlow will begin his creative journey with a trip round the Commonwealth. He will explore what the Queen means to her citizens at home and abroad and look for inspiration in the musical traditions of the Commonwealth Nations.
Barlow’s musical odyssey will be captured on film for a BBC1 documentary.
Andrew Lloyd Webber had already considered composing a piece for the Jubilee Concert before speaking to Barlow. Interviewed on Chris Evans’s Radio 2 Breakfast Show, he described how their partnership was formed.
“We both realised that there was a possibility that we would both be writing a song for the Jubilee to celebrate the Queen. I called Gary and said: 'Are you doing it because someone's talked to me about it?’
"And we thought it best to say we might join forces."
Barlow, who is one of the concert’s organisers, is currently looking for a "unique artist" to perform the track.
10,000 free tickets to the event, which is at the centre of celebrations running from 2-5 June, are available through online ballot and so far more than one million applications have been made. The Queen will watch the performance with The Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal Family.
"It is a huge honour to be involved in this historic occasion and I am looking forward very much to working with Gary," Lord Lloyd Webber said.