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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Robbie Williams (Netflix)

"Tedious, withered, want-monster." Frankly, I had to repress a guilty chuckle. This rather barbed response by Camilla Long in The Times to the four episode documentary about the life and times of Robbie Williams, once of Take That fame, but since having enjoyed a stellar solo career inbetween (and sometimes during) bouts of depression, substance abuse and general bad decisions, was not a million miles away from the reaction I had to it. Sometimes, you really have to say - "Poor thing, that iconic status, superstar fame, rude ugly wealth, world travel, hedonistic drug-taking and sexual adoration must have been awful for you. No wonder you got so depressed."

I wouldn't have been so incredulous if someone else had made it. You know, some dispassionate third party that had no personal, vested interest in its creation. When the subject of a documentary has final say on the project, it ceases to be a real documentary, more akin to reading their diary that they have conveniently left out for you to rifle through, pretending not to notice.

Now, millions of people love the man. Maybe not for a while, however, and this is a thinly veiled and prodding reminder that he's still around. Now married, kids, a big fuck off house and more money than you and I and everyone reading this combined. Turned out okay after all, eh?

This is a non-too subtle reminder about his voracious and narcisstic persona which endures even to this day. You only need to know this documentary series (one hour just wasn't enough to encompass his greatness) exists to know that this is still true, after all. Otherwise, he would have quietly bowed out and left us all in peace, living out his perfectly idyllic existence. But no, that is not good enough. Has he got another greatest hits album in the pipeline?


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