changed man | 

Robbie Williams says ‘I’m on my best behaviour’ since becoming dad and husband

“Now I’m on my best behaviour because I have to be on my best behaviour. I have to make better decisions because people rely on me, and those people love me, so it’s a lot easier to make those decisions because they exist.”

Robbie as he prepares for his upcoming Irish gigs

Robbie pays tribute to his wife, American actress Ayda Field© PA

Robbie in his Take That days© Getty Images

Robbie in his Take That days

Robbie at Slane Castle in 1998

Eddie RowleySunday World

Superstar singer Robbie Williams says finding love with his wife Ayda has been the key to his personal happiness.

The former wild man, who dabbled with drugs and experienced addiction and mental health issues in his early career, is a happily married dad of four these days.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Sunday World on Zoom, where he also chats about the late Joe Dolan, his triumph at Slane Castle and Irish fans, Williams pays tribute to his American-born actress wife Ayda Field.

“My Ayda, my betrothed,” he smiles on screen when I mention her. “It’s been incredible doing interviews and being asked about her and saying such lovely things about her, and being able to go home to her and let her know and have that feeling that I’m with someone really special.”

Clearly besotted with Ayda, Robbie goes on to say how he now lives for his wife and children, Teddy (nine), Charlie (seven), Coco (three) and Beau (two).

“I have purpose in my life,” he explains. “And I have a reason to do everything, whereas before I didn’t know what the purpose was. I didn’t know what the reason was. I was just getting in a car and turning up and dancing around walls in hotels and going and experiencing these extreme shots of emotion in front of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people.

“Now I’m on my best behaviour because I have to be on my best behaviour. I have to make better decisions because people rely on me, and those people love me, so it’s a lot easier to make those decisions because they exist.”

Now celebrating 25 years as a solo artist with the release of XXV, featuring orchestrated versions of his hits and fan favourites, Robbie admits he never imagined that by 2022 he’d be married with four kids.

“I think that if you’d have said in 1997 ‘you are about to sell 80-something million albums and be in a monogamous marriage and be together with your partner for 17 years, I wouldn’t have known which one sounded the most mental.”

Robbie at Slane Castle in 1998

In show business it’s no mean feat staying married that long. “Yeah, it’s dog years,” he says. “There should be a plaque outside of our bedroom.”

Robbie acknowledges that he feels fortunate to have had an amazing career and lifestyle.

“I’ve been lucky enough and fortunate enough to make some decisions to create something that far exceeds anything that anybody of my lineage since the dawn of time have managed to do. It’s f**king incredible!”

It’s like a movie. “Yeah it is, yeah,” he says.

And, actually, it’s going to be a movie. “Yeah it will be,” he says, referring to the upcoming Netflix documentary on his life that covers everything from his Take That days to his struggle with addiction and recovery.

Are you far into that? “Yeah, there’s still a few things left to film,” Robbie says. “It’s quite an interesting thing to happen. People have to die to watch their life back with Saint Peter at the pearly gates. I get to do it while I’m still here.”

You have dealt with all kinds of issues, but you’ve come through it. “Yeah,” he acknowledges, adding, “there is always a ticket back to that place for people like me. As it happens, so far today I have made some really good choices.”

Robbie will play three nights at Dublin’s 3Arena, October 29-30 and November 1, and he says he’s proud to be still selling out shows at he gets close to 50 years old.

“It sounds good, one that I got here when I tried desperately not to, and the other one is to know that I have left no stone unturned. I tried everything and I achieved way more than I could ever have imagined. So I can look back at my half century on the planet with pride.”

  • Robbie Williams’ new album, XXV, featuring his biggest hits all newly orchestrated and recorded with the Metropole Orkest, is out now.

ROBBIE’S BIGGEST WORRY IN SLANE

ROBBIE Williams says he feared being pelted with “bottles of p*ss” when he supported The Verve at Slane Castle back in 1998.

“It’s a different time now, but the energy and the way of feeling and thinking was different back in the day.

"It was definitely a them against us. And there was ‘us’ that was the indie community, and the ‘them’ which was the pop community – and I was expecting resentment [from The Verve fans] or bottles of p*ss being thrown, but there was nothing but love. It was a pivotal moment in my fledgling career.”

The Manic Street Preachers were also on the bill that day.

“I remember the Manic Street Preachers coming on after me and people still chanting my name,” Robbie recalls. “For somebody that was in a lilywhite boyband that wasn’t very respected by their peers, to actually come off stage and have somebody like the Manic Street Preachers go on after you and they’d be chanting your name… as you can imagine that’s a big fucking moment. The Irish fans have a different energy”


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