When Barry Gibb made rare appearance with wife Linda to sing 'Silent Night' with their kids on TV special

17 December 2020, 17:02 | Updated: 17 December 2020, 17:07

Barry Gibb and Linda Gibb (formerly Gray) have been married for fifty years after meeting on the set of Top of The Pops and marrying in 1970. Pictured in 1983.
Barry Gibb and Linda Gibb (formerly Gray) have been married for fifty years after meeting on the set of Top of The Pops and marrying in 1970. Pictured in 1983. Picture: LWT

Bee Gee brother Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb appeared their wives and children on Cilla Black's christmas TV show in a rare family outing for the famously private stars.

The Bee Gees - Barry Gibb in particular - may have been considered sex symbols at various points in their careers, but rare footage from 1983 shows the stars were down to earth family men.

Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb were appearing on Cilla Black's Christmas, a one off show produced by LWT, when they invited their wives and children to join them for a beautiful rendition of 'Silent Night'.

See more: The greatest Bee Gees songs of all time, ranked

The special event is not only unusual because the Bee Gees are joined by wives Linda, Dwina and Yvonne but because they weren't even recording any music together in 1983; They instead released solo albums and wrote Kenny Rogers’ Eyes That See In The Dark LP.

Barry Gibb and Linda Gibb (formerly Gray) have been married for fifty years after meeting on the set of Top of The Pops and marrying in 1970.

See more: The day Bee Gees, ABBA, Olivia Newton-John, Rod Stewart and Andy Gibb sang a staggering medley

Barry had previously been married to Maureen Bates, whom he married in 1966 when he was just 19, but the couple divorced in 1970 not long before he married Linda Gray, who had recently been crowned Miss Edinburgh at just 17-years-old.
Barry had previously been married to Maureen Bates, whom he married in 1966 when he was just 19, but the couple divorced in 1970 not long before he married Linda Gray, who had recently been crowned Miss Edinburgh at just 17-years-old. Picture: LWT
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb were appearing on Cilla Black's Christmas when they invited their wives and children to join them for a beautiful rendition of 'Silent Night'.
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb were appearing on Cilla Black's Christmas when they invited their wives and children to join them for a beautiful rendition of 'Silent Night'. Picture: LWT
Barry and Linda have five children: Stephen (born 1973), Ashley (born 1977), Travis (born 1981), Michael (born 1984) and Alexandra (born 1991) and a staggering seven grandchildren (Pictured with the rest of their family in 1983)
Barry and Linda have five children: Stephen (born 1973), Ashley (born 1977), Travis (born 1981), Michael (born 1984) and Alexandra (born 1991) and a staggering seven grandchildren (Pictured with the rest of their family in 1983). Picture: LWT

See more: When Barry Gibb tenderly kissed Barbra Streisand live on stage at the 1981 Grammy Awards

Barry had previously been married to Maureen Bates, whom he married in 1966 when he was just 19, but the couple divorced in 1970 not long before he married Linda Gray, who had recently been crowned Miss Edinburgh at just 17-years-old.

Barry and Linda have five children: Stephen (born 1973), Ashley (born 1977), Travis (born 1981), Michael (born 1984) and Alexandra (born 1991) and seven grandchildren and divide their time between their homes in Miami and England.

See more: When Barry and Robin Gibb sang a flawless medley as Maurice tried to make them laugh

A fifty year marriage is almost unheard of in music circles, yet Barry says having his wife by his side through his career has made all the difference to him: “Linda, along with me, has seen everything you can see if you’re a pop group on the rise. She never missed anything and that’s something to take great comfort from,” Gibb told the Roxborough Report in 2012.

“We can talk to each other about any single instance in our lives and what happened to the group and she was there.”

Gibb called Linda a “tower of strength” in the same interview, saying she is “always right behind me and she’s either going to give me a top on the head or a kick up the ass.”

See more: The time Barry Gibb got his finger stuck in a bottle during a Bee Gees TV interview

A fifty year marriage is almost unheard of in music circles, yet Barry says having his wife by his side through his career has made all the difference to him
A fifty year marriage is almost unheard of in music circles, yet Barry says having his wife by his side through his career has made all the difference to him. Picture: LWT
“We can talk to each other about any single instance in our lives and what happened to the group and she was there.” Pictured, Barry and Linda's wedding on September 1, 1970.
“We can talk to each other about any single instance in our lives and what happened to the group and she was there.” Pictured, Barry and Linda's wedding on September 1, 1970. Picture: Getty
Barry Gibb and wife Linda attend day ten of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at Wimbledon on June 27, 2016
Barry Gibb and wife Linda attend day ten of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at Wimbledon on June 27, 2016. Picture: Getty

See more: Bee Gees first TV gig: Teenage Barry Gibb and 10 year olds Robin and Maurice sing in 1960

Barry attributes a lot of his success to his wife and thanks her for not allowing him to go down the same path as the other Gibbs (Robin suffered from alcoholism and Andy Gibb died from a drug overdose when he was just 30-years-old).

“My brothers had to deal with their demons, but I was married to a lady who wasn’t going to have it,” he told The Guardian in 2020.

“I could bring drugs into the house, but they would end up down the toilet. She never allowed me to go in that direction. I had to deal with my brothers being pretty much out there, but I was lucky.”

Barry has also spoken about remaining faithful to his wife despite and both having many opportunities to stray in their half a century of marriage.

See more: Relive the Bee Gees' flawless impromptu acapella performance of 'How Deep Is Your Love' on live TV

“I do remember [Australian tennis star] Evonne Goolagong tried to get me to go out with her about 25 years ago. She asked me if she could come over!” Barry told The New York Post in 2016, adding that his wife had had offers too.

“One time we were at the Record Plant in Los Angeles and Steve McQueen tried to take off with Linda on the back of his motorbike! She’s a very beautiful woman, and had just as many opportunities as me!”

See more: Last known video of Maurice, Robin and Barry singing together in 2001 is sensational

The Bee Gees, (L to R) Robin, Barry and Maurice Gibb pictured in 1970.
The Bee Gees, (L to R) Robin, Barry and Maurice Gibb pictured in 1970. Picture: Getty

See more: When Barry Gibb and Olivia Newton-John sang 'Islands in the Stream' and it was glorious

Whilst Barry's 50-year relationship with Linda may be unusual, the other Gibb brothers also brief marriages followed by long and happy unions.

After being briefly married to the singer Lulu for four years from 1969, Maurice married his second wife, Yvonne Spenceley Gibb, in October 1975.

They had two children: Adam (born 1976) and Samantha (born 1980) and the pair were together for the rest of Maurice's life.

See more: 8 songs you didn't know were written by Barry Gibb and the Bee Gees

However, the star's alcohol problems came to a head in 1991, when he pulled a gun on his wife and children after a month-long binge.

They left him and immediately went to brother Barry's house, refusing to return until he had got sober once and for all.

Maurice went to rehab, and eventually returned to his family when he recovered.

He and Yvonne renewed their wedding vows in 1992, with the ceremony attended by their families and many of the friends Maurice made while at rehab. He would stay sober until his death in 2003.

See more: Barry Gibb inviting Maurice's daughter on stage for duet of 'How Can You Mend a Broken Heart' is so moving

Barry Gibb, with his wife, Linda and children, Michael (right), Alexandra and Ashley (left) at Buckingham Palace, London, after he was knighted by the Prince of Wales during investitures at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018
Barry Gibb, with his wife, Linda and children, Michael (right), Alexandra and Ashley (left) at Buckingham Palace, London, after he was knighted by the Prince of Wales during investitures at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018. Picture: Getty
“Linda, along with me, has seen everything you can see if you’re a pop group on the rise. She never missed anything and that’s something to take great comfort from." The couple pictured the year they married in 1970
“Linda, along with me, has seen everything you can see if you’re a pop group on the rise. She never missed anything and that’s something to take great comfort from." The couple pictured the year they married in 1970. Picture: Getty

Robin Gibb first married In 1968, to Molly Hullis, a secretary in Robert Stigwood's company, and they had two children together: Spencer (born 1972) and Melissa (born 1974).

See next: Excruciating moment Bee Gees walked off Clive Anderson TV show after host's music jibes

Molly and Robin divorced in 1980 after years of living apart from each other and he went on to marry his second wife, Dwina Murphy, an author and artist.

The second marriage lasted from 1985 until his death in 2012. and the couple had a son together, Robin-John (known as RJ, born 1983), who recently said he wants Rami Malek to play his father in a biopic about the Bee Gees.

See more: QUIZ: How well do you know the Bee Gees' song lyrics?