Robbie Williams: Leaving Take That cost me £500k

Singer reveals details of his acrimonious mid-1990s split from the boy band - including his battle with drink, and his desire to be chief songwriter like Gary Barlow

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Robbie Williams has revealed that he was nearly half a million pounds in debt when he left the band Take That, aged just 20.

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Lifting the lid on the heady period in the mid 1990s when he left the boyband, Williams reveals: “I had made about £1.1m from Take That and it cost me £1.5m to get out of the deal. As a twenty-year-old I ended up coming out of Take That owing 500 grand.”

Asked if he walked or was sacked he said that it was “a bit of both”.

“I was drinking heavily at the time and I was very young,” he said.

Speaking on Radio 4’s show Mastertapes in front of an audience at Maida Vale Studios, Williams reveals he  was “incredibly depressed” in that period.

He recounts his time as a heavy drinker and how he was forced to go into rehab. He also recites a poem he wrote during the period to a former teacher who suggested he join the army when he was a schoolboy.

He says he wanted to write music for the band but was over-ruled by head songwriter Gary Barlow.

Mastertapes airs on Monday November 11 at 11.30pm on Tuesday November 12 at 3.30pm on Radio 4

 


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