Singer Gary Barlow has posed nude to promote the musical The Girls, but with a piano protecting his modesty.

The Take That frontman and the production’s writer and director, Tim Firth, were dared to strip by actresses Claire Moore and Joanna Riding – who have toured with the musical and will appear in the West End show from January.

So, Barlow and Firth agreed to pose for a photograph, though after having hair and make-up artistes tend to them, insisted on a closed set for the shoot, reports

In an image, the duo’s modesty was protected as they posed behind a piano, surrounded by the stars of the production, who were similarly covered.

Barlow said afterwards: "We fulfilled the dare."

The Patience hitmaker began working with Firth on the musical four years ago after he saw a performance of stage show The Calendar Girls – on which it is based – but is still making changes.

He said: "The show has been massaged and nurtured over time. A musical needs time to breathe. You look at it and think, ‘Oh, we got that wrong.’ Then you have another go, and things are obvious.

"The magic begins at rehearsals. I’m going to be there every step of the way."