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Robbie Williams wants to make a documentary about dark side of fame

In a new interview with Apple Music, Williams opened up about his aim to create a documentary about the mental health and addiction issues that often plague boy/girl bands.

By Nick Reilly

Zane Lowe and Robbie Williams (Picture: Apple Music)

Robbie Williams has said he wants to make a documentary that explores the dark side of fame often faced by boybands and girlbands across the world.

The pop icon, who publicly faced his own battles with addiction after leaving Take That, opened up in a new interview on the The Zane Lowe Show on Apple Music 1. You can watch a clip of the interview, airing at 5pm today (2 November, 2022) below.

Speaking at the home ground of his football team Port Vale, Vale Park, in his home city of Stoke-on-Trent, Williams explained how mental health issues and addiction have proved rife as young band members struggle to navigate the often overwhelming realities of fame at a young age.

He said: “If you run through every boy band and girl band that’s ever existed. With Take That, Gary Barlow leaves the band, his career’s supposed to do that and it didn’t. He suffered with bulimia, didn’t leave his house, went to sleep underneath his piano because he’d forgotten how to write songs. Incredibly depressed. Changed his name on his credit card because he didn’t want people to see Barlow.”

He added: “Howard Donald wanted to commit suicide after he left Take That. Mark Owen’s been to rehab and Jason Orange just can’t do it. And then there’s me, the mental health, the rehabs, the addiction, there’s all of that.”

Outlining his desire to create a documentary, he explained: “So that’s what being in a boy band really does. And I’m sure that in five or 10 years’ time if you sit down with One Direction to a man, they’re all going to have their isms that have been caused by this machine. I want to do a documentary about it. Maybe we should do it together. About boy bands and girl bands and what really happens. Why fame does that to you.”

The singer, who has been sober for 20 years, previously branded the UK ‘delusional’ over its drink and drugs culture.

He said in an Instagram Live video: “The thing about drugs and drink is the delusion. In the UK and many places, it’s as natural as breathing.

‘You just do not think about it — you leave school then you go to the pub and that is it, and then you drink. What I am finding, since I have actually been properly sober, is what a delusion that way of thinking is.”

Last night (November 1) saw Robbie Williams wrap up his tour of UK & Ireland to mark 25 years of solo stardom.

In a four-star review of the tour’s second night at London’s O2 Arena, Rolling Stone UK wrote: “It’s his career and Williams’ remarkable showmanship, unfettered after 25 years, that proves to be the night’s greatest strength. British pop icons of the last 25 years don’t come any bigger than him, a man who has lived a life of sex, drugs, rock and roll, and emerged relatively unscathed on the other side.”

Next week will see him play two sold-out shows at London’s Royal Albert Hall which will be filmed for his forthcoming biopic Better Man, directed by The Greatest Showman helmer Michael Gracey.

Williams will also headline the final night of the Isle of Wight Festival next year.