Biopic set to reveal Robbie’s untold story
Robbie Williams is set to rev up the Melbourne Grand Prix with a new concert series to be announced for the Formula One season opener.
In a shake-up of the Albert Park major event, the superstar UK singer will headline an off-track drive for new F1 fans.
The "Angels" and "Let me Entertain You'' crooner will be the star attraction of an inaugural "World Tour" concert to be staged in conjunction with Melbourne's race.
In his only Australian concert for 2020, Williams will play a greatest hits set on March 14 - after F1 qualifying - at Lakeside Stadium.
He said his set would "definitely be full of hits''.
"It will be pleasing to the ear for people who like nice things,'' he said. "Better Man will be in the set for Australia, I like to play (Men at Work's) Down Under there.''
This year will mark the 25th F1 race held in Melbourne, with Williams expected trackside for the event.
"I love Melbourne, I know more about Melbourne than anywhere else in Australia because I have friends there,'' he said.
It comes as Williams revealed "exciting" plans to make a biographical film.
"There's a lot that people don't know, a lot of the story I've never exposed, a lot of stuff I haven't been able to say," he said.
CAMERON ADAMS' Q&A WITH ROBBIE WILLIAMS
You're headlining World Tour show at the Grand Prix in Melbourne in March. Are you a rev head?
No. But I will be for money. I love the Grand Prix! And also any excuse to come down to Australia I'll grab with both hands. To be honest with you, I'd come down to open a fishing competition.
Your latest addiction is golf, do you know about the Royal Melbourne Golf Course where they hold the Presidents Cup?
No doubt if my current addiction to golf does not abate I will be hitting the Royal Melbourne Golf Course up. But I know me and my addictions, they come and they go. But at the minute it's still a raging addiction, like a crackhead.
2020 marks a lot of big anniversaries for you. One is 20 years sober.
Yep, 20 years without a drink. It is a big deal. People say 'How do you do it?' It was a case of I didn't have an option, it was either die or don't drink. Then you are forced into learning how to do it. That being said, I wasn't aware how long it was going to take to unravel all the mess that I'd done. But it seems to be unravelled now, I'm in a very good place.
Are you still off the cigarettes?
I am. Last New Year I said I want to give up smoking and lose weight. I did that. This New Year I've given up cake, crisps, and chocolate. So far so good.
Didn't you go vegan after bingeing Netflix documentaries?
I don't eat meat but I don't care for fish, they can die. F--- fish. But if I was vegan, you can bet I'd be banging on about it.
You have a habit of Googling terrible reviews of your music. Did you do that for your Christmas album (The Christmas Present)?
No, I stayed away from reviews of the Christmas record because I could only imagine the hatred and bile that that would cause. I already knew I was on a no-win situation so I stayed away from all reviews and left it down to the general public. And the general public, she said yes.
It was No. 1 in the UK and Australia.
Obviously I was incredibly happy about the No. 1 album in the UK, I was even more happy that the album had connected with Australians. It gave me extra reason to rejoice at Christmas and made a middle-aged pop star very happy.
That was your 13th UK No. 1, you're now equal with Elvis Presley for the most chart topping albums by a solo act there.
Yes, but he's Elvis, he won't stay dead, there'll be more albums.
You gave yourself a buzzcut just after Christmas. It's a flashback to '90s Robbie …
It was a necessity. I'm getting greyer, I don't want to dye it and I can't style my own hair so if I shave it short it's not as grey and I don't have to style it. It's an all purpose haircut. It's not signifying I'm taking heroin. I've been told it's taken years off me, so I'm thrilled.
Other anniversaries this year are 20 years since Rock DJ and the Sing When You're Winning album.
I'm more interested in the fact this year is 30 years in the business altogether (Robbie joined boy band Take That in 1990) and quite soon (2021) it'll be 25 years as a solo artist. So they'll be the milestones I'll be cynically monetising. In which fashion? Every single fashion.
Do you own the rights to your early records?
No, I signed a contract where I don't own my own masters, that was just the way it was back then. I don't own my first five albums. Which are the biggest albums. And (shouts) I'M OK WITH THAT. It's just what it is. It's just business. I wish it was different but it's not. You sign a contract and if you sign that contract you agree to the terms in it and that's just how it is.
2020 means your Kylie duet Kids turns 20 as well.
It makes me happy that she still sings it in her tours, it's obviously connected for her audience. That gives me a buzz that she uses Kids and Your Disco Needs You. She came into the studio that day and said 'I want something camp'. Well, I don't you can get any more camp than that song.
You have recorded another duet with Kylie, Disco Symphony, that's sitting in the vaults. Will that surface this year?
Not this year. But when I have my proper anniversaries I will be implementing that song.
In the past you've said you've got 'charlatan syndrome' and don't deserve your success. Where do you sit with that now?
It ebbs away as you get older. I don't think you're ever in the clear with all of that stuff. Whereas before I thought I was a charlatan and I didn't deserve it (success), now I think I'm a charlatan and this is incredibly funny so let's just see where it takes me.
We've seen the Elton John and Queen biopics, what about a Robbie movie?
There's something in the works with me and a film. There's a lot that people don't know, a lot of the story I've never exposed, a lot of stuff I haven't been able to say. Hopefully there'll be lots of cinematic moments.
A documentary or a movie with someone playing you?
A bit of both. We shall see. Nothing's cemented yet, but things are in the works. it's very exciting.
You did a Christmas TV special where you joked about going on I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here at the right price. You love watching reality TV, but surely you wouldn't ever do it?
If I ever had to do a reality TV show it would mean that something had gone seriously wrong with my career. Let's hope that never happens. But would I do it if that happens? In a heartbeat. But I don't have to. Which one? Any of them. Listen, if it got to that point I'd s--- a d--- to be on any of those shows.
Your wife, Ayda, said you secretly love to work but can't admit it. True?
I do love my job. I love to work. I love things connecting and being successful. I'm incredibly competitive with myself and absolutely everybody else. I love having a plan, putting it together and implementing it. Having purpose in life is very important to me. I've had no purpose and it's not for the soul.
You are very honest about how your audience don't stream music and that means you struggle on the charts now. What's next for you in the world of music?
I want to do a TV show. That's where I'm concentrating my efforts next. There'll be music, I've already got two albums ready to go in the vaults, that's taken care of. My next port of call will be other avenues in show business I'd like to test out. Hosting, acting, but all my own stuff that I create and produce. I also think music is full. It's not a place that's exciting and dynamic any more. It will always be a passion of mine, I will always write and I'll always want to create hit records. But I need something new in my life to make me scared and thrill me in equal measure.
When you look at artists like Lewis Capaldi being very emotional in his lyrics, which is something you've done for years, can you see where you've opened some doors?
Yes, if it wasn't for me Lewis Capaldi wouldn't exist. Can you put in a comedy font? People are having a field day removing irony these days.
Speaking of headlines, what's happening with you and Liam Gallagher having this fist fight for charity?
He tweeted that he was going to pop down to Kensington and twat some carol singing showbiz whore. So I replied 'Hey mate, I live in Kensington, I don't know who you're on about, sounds like a right twat, let's both batter him'. He didn't get back to me. It is a shame. I genuinely want to fight him but I don't want to go to prison so I want to do it in a ring.
Do you think Oasis will ever get back together?
I hope not because I'd hate to have to experience them having anything good happen to them.
Coldplay aren't going on a world tour until they can work out how to travel without leaving a big carbon footprint. Where you stand on touring and its impact on climate change?
I'm going to make sure on my next tour instead of taking 58 trucks I'm going to take 57. Because that's the kind of guy I am. I'll only go on a private jet if it's a necessity. You know, like all the commercial flights are too early. I can't be arsed getting up early.
Robbie Williams, World Tour Melbourne, Saturday, March 14. Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit. On sale 10am, Monday January 20, Ticketek.