As part of successful Nineties boy band Take That Jason Orange enjoyed a life of gigs, TV appearances, showbiz parties and champagne. When the outfit split in 1996, however, it marked the beginning of a new era for the singer. While the rest of the group embarked on solo careers, Jason set off for Thailand in search of enlightenment, and dropped off the radar. At the time, few could have predicted a return to the spotlight would ever be on the cards.
Jason Thomas Orange was born in Manchester on July 10, 1970, a few minutes before his twin brother Justin and a second child for parents Tony and Jenny Orange. He also has a half-brother and three half sisters, who arrived after his parents separated and his dad remarried.
Leaving school at 16 Jason had his heart set on a career as dancer and worked as a painter and decorator to support himself while he honed his skills at every opportunity. At the end of the Eighties he landed a job as a dancer on the popular TV show The Hitman And Her
where he met fellow hoofer Howard Donald.
Together the pair approached artist manager Nigel Martin Smith who was putting together a new boy band in 1990. And it was through Nigel the boys were introduced to Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Robbie Williams
, the other hopeful aspirants who would form Take That.
The group's mix of soulful ballads and dance-orientated pop tunes combined with their good looks, hot dance routines and cheeky appeal made them an instant hit across the globe, as they notched up sales of 25 million records and won legions of fans. By February 1996, however, the fairytale was over. Robbie Williams quit, leaving the other members to go their separate ways.
Free of the demands of life in a band, Jason took time out to explore new options, including a stint at university studying Psychology and Sociology . In addition to his Thai travels he accompanied actor Max Beesley, who'd played percussion for Take That, on a 1998 trip to New York where the pair studied acting. This led to a small part in a London theatre show and a role as a DJ in made-for-TV drama mystery Killer Net
the same year.
With other big names in the music business reuniting, in 2006 Take That - minus Robbie Williams - made a phenomenally successful comeback with a British tour and chart topping single Patience
. Back in the spotlight, former party animal Jason seemed to have undergone a transformation, suddenly singled out by his band mates as the quiet one.
Though he's never lacked for female attention Jason has yet to settle down. "I still feel too young to get married. I really want to, and I would love to have kids," said the then 37-year-old in 2007. "At the moment I like life the way it is and I don't want to do it just because I feel I have to while I'm young."