Robbie Williams may have 18 Brit Awards to his name – more than any other star – he may be the UK’s biggest ever solo artist, he may have shifted 20 million solo records, a further 40million with Take That, and be one of music’s biggest names all over the world, but it seems there is one elusive goal unattainable even for him…
“I’d like to lose 15 pounds and have it stay lost,” he admits to HuffPostUK.
This can’t be beyond the grasp of a man of such abilities – what’s the problem?
“It’s chocolate!” he shouts. “I eat like a monk, but always… the chocolate.”
Of that staggering number of Brits statuettes, it turns out Robbie is strangely unattached to them, in fact, he’s only actually retained possession of one – the Brit Icon Award presented to him last year.
“It’s the same reason when Jose Mourinho won his premiership medal, he immediately threw it into the crowd,” he explains. “My wife keeps the Icon one in a safe place, but that’s it. I’ve given all of the others away.”
It comes down to the same reason he doesn’t sit back by his pool in LA and count his many pots of pennies.
“What’s done is past. It’s behind you. I want more, more, more,” he says.
“I’m unrelenting, I still want to move forward, improve, have new experiences, I want to be countering and getting over obstacles, achieving new stuff.”
One of the very next projects involves Robbie teaming up with his former Take That bandmates for a performance at the grand finale of Gary Barlow’s talent show ‘Let It Shine’, where Robbie will also sit in as a guest judge.
This will be Robbie’s first musical outing with the boys since 2010, when all five, Jason still on board, got into the studio for ‘Progress’ and then went on the road.
This time around around, it really will be for one night only, as Robbie has other, un-discussable, irons in the fire. “It’s like Game of Thrones. So many people are working on the plan, I couldn’t possibly tell you without getting into all sorts of trouble. What can I say? I will be doing something else with the boys in the next five years, but not for the next 18 months, that’s safe to say.” Hmmmm.
Ok, tell us instead, what’s the best thing about a reunion?
“What’s really great is that is you get to share the problems. What you’re about to do is challenging, and you get to share it all.
“You also get to moan, have a good bitch. You couldn’t get away with it with anyone else. Everyone would say ‘first world problems’…
The mind boggles. M&Ms the wrong shade of blue?
“I couldn’t possibly say what about without getting into heaps of trouble, but let’s just say, there are often handbags being drawn backstage, and if any celebrities’ ears are burning, it’s them.”
Backstage antics notwithstanding, Robbie has much respect for many of his high-achieving peers. In his words…
“Bruno Mars is charismatic as fuck, writes these amazing songs. Justin Timberlake is slick as fuck, just can do anything, Michael Buble has got the voice.
“Beyonce is incredible, Adele deserves to be where she is. They really are the greats.”
And of course Robbie is up there too, after one of the most impressive two decades in music that is possible to recall. Asked to look back on it, what does he remain the most proud of?
“I know it’s an incredible achievement, but it all went by in a whirlwind,” is his answer, with his voice suddenly sounding much younger, more awed.
“I can’t believe it happened to me, but it did, and I know, because it’s on the internet, it’s on the DVDs, it’s all out there. But I can’t get my head round it.
“I’m the UK’s biggest male solo selling artist, and it feels weird even saying it.
“So it’s all odd and weird, like some glitch in the matrix. But I guess, if pressed, I’d have to say Knebworth, that and the records. It always comes back to the records.”
Robbie Williams has teamed up with Mastercard as part of the Priceless Surprises campaign in celebration of The BRIT Awards 2017. See him surprise a tireless fan above. He told HuffPostUK about this surprising day...
“You wake up in Austria, someone tells you it’s off to the UK for a fan surprise. You say ‘Ok’ but you barely know what day it is. You say ‘London, yeah?’ and they say, ‘No, Portsmouth.’ Rightio. Off to Portsmouth, and then I ended up having the BEST day, so much fun with Danielle and her family. And I wasn’t expecting it. And that’s the truth.”
Watch him surprise Danielle in the video above. Robbie will be performing again this year at the 2017 Brit Awards on Wednesday 22 February, on ITV from 7.30pm.