Gary Barlow: I had one incredible hour with my stillborn baby girl

Gary Barlow has spoken about the heartbreak of losing his baby daughter.

The Take That star's fourth child, Poppy, was stillborn at full term, just days before the singer was due to perform at the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.

Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival about his autobiography, A Better Me, Barlow told the audience how he and his wife Dawn had "the most incredible hour" holding their baby girl before having to go home without her.

Barlow said the couple had changed their minds several times about whether to include a chapter about Poppy's death in the book - but after speaking at length, they decided they wanted to help others in similar situations.

"The thing that made us decide was how it will actually help other people," Barlow said. "There is one thing about this… it has not really been talked about much.

"People say things like 'You've got three other kids' and people don't really understand your pain. It makes it more painful.

"For us it was the chance to help all the other people who are not understood either. It just felt like the right thing to do and the right thing to be in this book."

Barlow also spoke about the moment his wife phoned him to tell him Poppy had died two days before she was due.

"I got a phone call and Dawn said, 'I can't think of any other way of saying this but the baby has died'.

"The doctor had given her a scan and said he had the most terrible news. I just went into this flight-or-fight mode.

"We went in the following night and it was a very strange day and the doctor had told me that you get to hold the baby.

"I was just dreading this thing happening and when she did give birth, it was amazing. We had the most incredible hour with our daughter.

"It was like a light coming into the room. It was gorgeous, both holding her, taking photographs and footprints, it was the most gorgeous hour.

"We had our moment and we were kind of happy with it and then we went home to a very empty house. Then we started organising the funeral because these things need organising.

"It was a very strange time but as the man in the middle of all of this, it was very heartbreaking watching the person that you love walking around the room with their dead baby."

Barlow married Dawn in 2000 and the couple have three other children, Daniel, Emily and Daisy.

In his autobiography, the former X Factor judge has also spoken candidly about the shock of losing his solo record deal - as well as his experiences putting on weight, battling depression and coping with an eating disorder.