When Grazia met Robbie Williams!

28 November 2012 by

It's as simple as this: on Monday afternoon I came face to face with Mr Robbie Williams - and got a kiss on each cheek in the process.

It all started at a press conference at the plush Soho Hotel where Robbie announced to the gathered world press that he would be embarking on a European solo tour next summer.
'The rumours are true - I'm getting Robbie Williams back together,' he revealed in a half an hour Q&A session.

Fast forward three hours and I was being taken into the bowels of the hotel by a lovely member of Robbie's team to have a one-on-one chat with the man himself. And boy was I excited given that I’ve been a fan of Take That and Robbie for erm, like 22 years.

I had just a short wait outside the Picture Room in the basement of the hotel where the interview was to take place during which I was told that Robbie was in good spirits despite my chat being the last of a long day of promotional work (and let's not forget his three consecutive nights performing at the O2 in Greenwich).

Then, finally it was my turn, and I was standing in the presence of Robbie Williams. ‘Hi, I’m Robbie,’ he smiles, reaching out his hand. How very polite. ‘You must be exhausted,’ I peep, shaking his hand. ‘No, I’m not actually. Not at all. I feel great. It’s been a very exciting few days,’ he says. His Stoke accent is still there despite spending years living in America.

Sitting down on two armchairs which face each other, Robbie, 38, places my Dictaphone on his knee (yes, his actual knee) and we begin. So given his exciting news this morning, what’s Robbie’s favourite thing about touring? ‘The absolute religious euphoria when you’re connected to the words and the audience is connected to the words and you’re connected to the audience. My daughter Teddy arriving into the world was pretty phenomenal, and second to that is that feeling you get from an appreciative audience.’

As soon as Robbie mentions his 10-week-old daughter Theodora ‘Teddy’ Rose Williams his face lights up. So how will being a daddy affect Robbie’s tour? ‘I don’t think it will change the tour much. She’s a very calming presence already and I feel that something cosmically within me has changed. I feel a lot happier as a person and a lot more grounded and that’s happened naturally. It’ll probably mean I get a lot more sleep on tour because she’s there, rather than less sleep. She’s rounding off my sharp edges as the weeks progress in her short life so far.’

Given Robbie’s history as a bit of a wild boy party animal, now that he’s happily married  - to American actress Ayda Field - and a father, how will he celebrate the end of his tour next summer?

‘These days I celebrate the end of a tour with a lot of carbs,’ he laughs. ‘The vices are diminishing, the opportunity to let off steam in the various ways that I have in the past cannot be done. But that’s ok because there is one thing that will always be your friend, and that is chocolate. I’ll probably snort chocolate when it’s over. Yes, that’s right, I’ll overdose on chocolate. There’s a lot of favourites for me but Lindt Chocolate Pralines and Minstrels are my favourite.’

And then it’s time for Robbie Williams to be elsewhere. ‘We’ve got to be live on Skype any minute Rob,’ says one of his team.

Robbie hands me back my Dictaphone, gives me a kiss on each cheek and says, ‘Thank you darling, nice to meet you.’ And with that he’s off and out the door.

Robbie Williams 2013 Take the Crown tour kicks off on Wednesday 19 June in Manchester and will be sponsored by Samsung. Tickets go on sale on Friday 30 November at 9am.


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