Pop star Gary Barlow has finally broken his silence to "apologise" on Twitter following damaging tax-dodging allegations.
The multi-millionaire former Take That singer was accused earlier this year of being involved in an "aggressive" tax avoidance scheme.
Barlow, a prolific tweeter, refused to comment after coming under a deluge of criticism amid demands he be stripped of his OBE when the story broke in May.
But tonight Barlow, a Tory supporter who lives in the constituency of Prime Minister David Cameron, spoke for the first time, briefly, about his tax affairs with two tweets from his Twitter account.
He tweeted: "I want to apologise to anyone who was offended by the tax stories earlier this year."
A second Tweet said: "With a new team of accountants we are working to settle things with all parties involved ASAP."
Minutes later he tweeted the news to his 3.5 million twitter followers that he had been working on a new Take That album and a Broadway musical.
Barlow did not say exactly what he was apologising for or elaborate further on his tax arrangements.
He had earlier tweeted that he had just come back from "7 productive weeks in the US" and had taken a break from twitter after his account was hacked and "some very upsetting and disturbing text was written."
But his apology for the "tax stories" was immediately met with ridicule and abuse by many fellow tweeters.
@Quoink tweeted back: "Lol at Gary Barlow: 'Sorry about the tax avoidance' 'New album being recorded' PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY."
Craig O'Connor, @sawdoc1878, tweeted: "Be shunning the limelight whilst the Tax Sham scenario dies down? Slide back in after your advisors have given the green light?"
And Nick Buckel @nickychops, tweeted: "Nice of Gary Barlow to apologise for any offence caused by the tax stories. Not the actual avoidance of tax, just the reporting of it."