Robbie Williams Reveals How Harry Styles Reminds Him Of Himself

"That stage is massive and it’s a lonely place."
Robbie Williams and Harry Styles
Robbie Williams and Harry Styles

Robbie Williams says he can see similarities between himself and Harry Styles.

Just like Harry, Robbie found fame as a member of a boyband before going on to forge a successful solo career.

Speaking to friend and presenter Scott Mills in celebration of his debut album, Life Thru A Lens, Robbie agreed that he sees a lot of himself in the former One Direction star.

“Absolutely. I see a lot,” Robbie said.

“This is inconsequential but the algorithm on my YouTube threw up a video of Harry Styles talking in between songs and what he was talking about was a bit of nonsense, like I talk about, just a bit of banter.

“It was like, I see what he’s doing. He’s trying to fill a space… That stage is massive and it’s a lonely place.

“You’d better throw some shapes or you’re just going to feel awkward.”

During the conversation on Radio 2, Robbie also discussed his initial departure from Take That and the impact on his relationship with former bandmate Gary Barlow.

“I think that I was in the middle of a nervous breakdown, my first of many,” Williams said of leaving the band.

“All the information going into the computer had made the computer overload … So it felt like I was in some sort of burning building and I needed to get out.

“That’s how it felt at the time. Then I was like, ‘okay, I’ll do this tour and then I’ll leave’. And they actually went, ‘Actually, if you’re going to leave, can you go now?’”

Robbie left the band in 1995 before temporarily rejoining in 2010.

Take That pictured in 1992 (L-R) Robbie Williams, Jason Orange, Howard Donald, Gary Barlow, and Mark Owen.
Take That pictured in 1992 (L-R) Robbie Williams, Jason Orange, Howard Donald, Gary Barlow, and Mark Owen.
Tim Roney via Getty Images

The Angels singer revealed he later “made sure” there was chart rivalry between himself and Gary.

“Because that’s what the 90s was about. This is what was happening in my camp – I say my camp, I mean my head – it’s like wrestling or boxing.

“It’s your tribe against their tribe, and my tribe was me and their tribe was Gary Barlow, and I was all up for that kind of conflict because I got some sort of kick from it.

“Unfortunately Gary didn’t feel the same way and he didn’t get a kick from it, because he was a well-rounded grown-up that didn’t need that sort of inflammation in his life. I so badly wanted him to respond but, like I say, he’s a well-rounded grown up.”

Robbie said that he and Gary have since repaired their relationship, adding: “Look, we are family. It’s like blood family for all the good, and all the bad, and we are intrinsically locked together on this journey on the planet.

“All of us – me, Jay, Howard, Mark and Gaz. I will always be the younger brother and he will always be the older brother. And I did things that I’m not proud of, and said things I’m not proud of as a reaction to things that I hope he’s not that proud of either. That being said, taking the mickey out of Gary, he didn’t deserve that.”

Robbie Williams: My Life Thru a Lens is available on BBC Sounds from December 30 and airs on BBC Radio 2 on January 1 at 5pm.


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