HomeCelebritiesThe 10 most shocking moments in Robbie Williams' documentary
The 10 most shocking moments in Robbie Williams' documentary
Robbie Williams documentary: The 10 most shocking moments from the singer’s Netflix show
Robbie Williams’ hotly-anticipated docuseries was released on Wednesday, with the singer candidly discussing his 25-year showbusiness career, from career highs to battling addiction and mental health.
The four-part series is the latest celebrity documentary to be released on the streaming service after David Beckham’s show came out last month.
Robbie’s offering hasn’t proved to be as popular with critics, however, with the show receiving mixed reviews.
Yet while Robbie has been criticised for not providing a more ’rounded’ insight into his life with other people’s perspectives, it was still packed full of surprise revelations.
Read on for the 10 most shocking moments from the show.
1. Robbie proposed to Nicole Appleton over the phone
The singer looked back on his romance with All Saints star Nicole Appleton, 48, with home video footage showing the pop couple in the early days of their romance after they met on Top Of The Pops in 1997.
Caught on camera in the tapes is a besotted Robbie, who was in the middle of his hugely successful solo career at the time, as he proposed over a brief phone call.
Looking back on the nine-month relationship, during which the couple split multiple times, Robbie explains how he was in ‘no fit state’ to commit.
Over footage of the early weeks of their romance, Robbie says it was inevitable that his and Nicole’s ‘paths would cross’ thanks to their parallel pop careers.
‘She was kind and fun and sweet, you know she’s just a good soul,’ Robbie says in the documentary. ‘With my relationship with Nic, it was very important to me to learn to become the man I was supposed to be.’
But he admits he wasn’t ready for a relationship, explaining how after joining Take That at just 16-years-old ‘nobody graduates from childhood fame well balanced.’
‘The years of finding yourself, maturing and growing up that everybody has it taken away from you.
Robbie is then seen proposing to Nicole in a brief phone call while he is on the road.
‘I guess that I’m trying to convince myself that I’m the kind of person that is ready for that kind of commitment, I know I’m not,’ Robbie says in the voice over.
‘I couldn’t look after myself I was in no fit state to offer myself as a partner and the relationship with Nic ended a few months after this.’
Life Thru A Lens: The Take That star has opened up his life and career in the four-part series, and in episode one he looked back on his nineties romance with Nicole
2. Robbie’s addiction to steroids
The singer revealed that he began relying on steroids to get him through performing on tour, with old footage showing him rowing about it with personal assistant Josie.
As she told him: ‘You don’t need it, you’re just tired, and last time it was terrible’, Robbie cut in ‘Josie don’t…’
Yet she persevered and reasoned: ‘It makes you feel rubbish for days after.’
Robbie ignored her and called the doctor over and he was seen being injected as he shouted: ‘I love drugs!’
Looking over at concerned Josie, he added: ‘For me, how far I have gone with my intake of stuff, that is like putting a Band-Aid on me losing my leg.’
3. The real reason for his split from Geri Horner
Robbie reflected on his Noughties romance with Spice Girl Geri Horner, 50, revealing their relationship was doomed from the start.
He said: ‘Our relationship starts when I’m in AA – you’re told not to get into a relationship in the first year and I get it – I can’t even look after a cactus let alone somebody else.’
Rumours had emerged that Geri was calling the paparazzi on the pair of them whilst they were trying to enjoy their time together, and Robbie confessed he believed them at the time.
Robbie said he spoke to a paparazzi who blamed Geri, saying: ‘Now I don’t think that’s true for one second, but at the time I did believe it.
‘It just goes to show what being in the spotlight can do to your psyche, when you can’t trust anybody.’
Speaking about the moment he was told about the rumour he said: ‘It ruined in some way the memory of such a joyous part in my life.’
Former flame: Robbie Williams shared never-before-seen footage of bikini-clad ex Geri Horner as he reflected on their ‘confusing’ but ‘magical’ relationship in his Netflix docuseries
4. Eternity was inspired by Ginger Spice
While his romance with Geri may have been short-lived, she’s to thank for his 2001 hit, Eternity.
In the documentary, Robbie shared footage from their lengthy holiday together in the south of France with his songwriting partner, Guy Chambers and Guy’s wife Emma.
Upon returning to the UK, Robbie and Guy co-wrote the track about their fun summer away.
Talking about his whirlwind romance with Geri, Robbie added: ‘It was a very confusing relationship because she’s a girl and I’m a boy.
‘We are very good friends, trying to sort out the wreckage of the past…
‘I had a friendship with our Ginger that meant a lot to me, in a time when I felt I didn’t have any relationships that I felt completely comfortable with.’
5. Robbie’s jealousy of Gary Barlow
Speaking about his feud with Take That bandmate Gary Barlow Robbie revealed that he disliked him so much that he became ‘vengeful.
He admitted that he ‘wanted to make Gary pay’ as he was deeply jealous of his career and talents.
Robbie said: ‘I disliked Gary the most because he was the one that was supposed to have everything and the career and I wanted to make him pay. I was vengeful.
‘It seemed to be one person managing Take That and it was Gary Barlow – it was all geared around him.
‘And as a young person I would have been jealous of that. A lot of me resented him. I was going home from those days thinking this is weird and uncomfortable. It’s lord of the flies stuff.’
Robbie then apologised to Gary for famously saying that he was ‘dead’ and calling him a ‘p****’ on stage, admitting: ‘I’m sorry that I treated Gary like that.’
Feud: Robbie revealed that he disliked Gary (right) so much that he became ‘vengeful’ – but has since apologised for his behaviour towards him (pictured in 1994)
6. Performing while having a panic attack
Robbie revealed that when he performed in Leeds back in 2006 he suffered a panic attack before going onto stage, which continued throughout his performance.
He recalled: ‘I could swear that people could read my mind, there’s 90,000 people there. I don’t know if you’ve ever had one of those dreams where you’re on stage, and how real and terrifying that is, well it came true for me.
‘I couldn’t speak, I kept shaking and I was going through trauma. We got back to the hotel last night, and everybody’s world ended. I had some sleeping tablets to get to sleep as I was never gonna go to sleep thinking about a gig tomorrow.
‘I woke up and I said “Josie I can’t go on stage tonight. I’m not getting on.”‘
Yet Robbie revealed he needed to go through with the show because it would have cost him more money than he had to cancel it, musing: ‘Everyone’s livelihood around me would be devastated and that would be the end of my career.’
‘I got in the helicopter and I saw the crowd and I was okay, and then I went into a pit of absolute self-annihilation. I was absolutely petrified…
‘That tour, it broke something. I don’t get any less tired, I don’t get any less panicky, and my psyche eats itself. And the worst is yet to come.’
Hard memories: Robbie revealed that when he performed in Leeds back in 2006 he suffered a panic attack before going onto stage, which continued throughout his performance
7. Nearly being dropped by his record label
After making his grand departure from Take That, Robbie struggled to make progress with his solo career.
He recalled: ‘My career was falling off a cliff. I had quite a few goes with singles that wouldn’t be allowed to happen now.
‘Then a memo goes round the record company, I am about to be dropped and it looks as though that’s it for the Williams boy… but in my back pocket I had something special.’
Robbie then released his smash single Angels which brought him back from the ‘jaws of defeat’ as he mused: ‘Something was connecting and you could just feel this momentum, the rocket taking off.’
To this day, Angels remains his best selling single and was the 34th-bestselling UK single of the Nineties.
Yet Robbie still can’t wrap his head around its success, as he confessed: ‘I don’t know what it is that’s so special about this song but whatever it is, it has it.’
8. Sleeping with his dealer before meeting up with wife Ayda
Robbie’s wife Ayda Field appears in the final episode of the docuseries as the couple reflected on their romance.
Ayda revealed: ‘I was actually in a really good place I think when I met Rob, I had this dinner and was like “do you wanna go to this dinner party with me?” He’s like “I’d rather stick knives in my eyes,” he said “let’s meet up afterwards.”‘
Robbie then confessed that when Ayda came to his house after the dinner ‘I’d just seen off my dealer that I was sleeping with at the time.’
Ayda recalled: ‘The house is completely f***ing dark, not candles no lights, we’re just sitting there talking, we have nothing in common.’
Robbie then took her out to party and had planned to ‘ditch’ her there but Ayda revealed: ‘I guess as surrendered to the fact that we were not each other’s person and this was a totally miss we were just completely loose with each other, he was saying funny s**t in the car and I thought “oh he’s funny!”‘
Cute couple: Robbie’s wife Ayda Field appears in the final episode of the docuseries as the couple reflected on their romance
9. Losing money by rejoining Take That
In 2010, Robbie reunited with his former Take That bandmates after being blown away by their Circus Live tour.
He confessed: ‘It was one of the best shows I’d ever seen, and I got incredible excited by it and then a door opened where I was like ‘I wanna experience that.’
Yet his management tried to dissuade him from joining, revealing they showed him spreadsheets and explained ‘if you went on tour by yourself, this is what you would make and it was just unbelievable amounts of money.’
They then showed him the smaller profits he’d make with Take That but had to accept his decision to rejoin the group.
Robbie mused: ‘When I’m in Take That there’s four other bodies next to you displacing the responsibility next to you.’
He added: ‘Rejoining Take That really helped me, propelled me back in, helped me to hide in public, helped me to be camouflaged but seen.
‘Great Britain was ours for that summer. I felt like “pop star Robbie Williams” and rejoining Take That was a vitally important part of my journey to where I am now.’
10. Ayda and Robbie split during his rehab stint
Robbie’s battle with drink and drug addiction reached a head in 2007 and after an intervention from his management, Robbie revealed that he and Ayda decided to split so that he could complete a stint in rehab.
‘He is like I can’t be in a relationship and I have to get better, I have to break up with you,’ Ayda said.
‘I understood it because I saw he was unwell and I remember thinking I just want you to get better whatever you need to do, and I was just so crestfallen. He was my soulmate and then he was gone.’
After completing his treatment and getting clean, Robbie and Ayda rekindled their romance, and jetted to Morocco together.
He said: ‘There was a cementing of a relationship between me and my future wife, but if you’d asked me what I was doing during that, I wouldn’t know that.
‘There became enough space between me and my career to fall in love.’
Separated: Robbie revealed that he and Ayda decided to split so that he could complete a stint in rehab but later rekindled their romance and jetted to Morocco together