Please introduce yourself.
Hi I'm Robbie Williams and I'm 30. I'm from a place called Stoke-on-Trent in England and I'm Aquarius. My hobbies are singing, sleeping, eating and women and football.
Are you still and angry young man?
No, I'm just a quite sensitive old man now, that's about it. I'm not angry any more.
Are you a happy man?
Yeah. I am yeah. I did a documentary and realised how miserable I was when I watched the documentary back and though 'something had to change' and it has.
So is everything all right now? Or could it be better?
Everything is the best. I wish I was a few kilos lighter, but apart from that I can't complain. Life is wonderful right now. I've got great fans, I've got a great album to promote, I've got a fantastic record company, great people work with me ...
What is the secret of your sucess? It seems like you have the Midas touch ...
Yeah, but that only lasts for so long, you know? I think that people have bought into an idea of me and I've presented myself in a certain manner and people have gone, 'We like that. We want a bit more of that'. And it sort of blows me away. The more success that I get and ... to say 'Midas touch' ... some people only get one album or one single. So if it all ends now, I've done really, really well.
I don't think it well end that quickly ...
Yeah. I think there will be a slow and painful death. [Laughs.]
Are you a pessimist?
Yeah I am, yeah. But you know, my glass is half full and half empty at the same time. It used to be it was just half empty.
How do you deal with your female fans? They are always hanging around in hotel lobbies and hotel bars, maybe even coming to your house, trying to have sex with you ...
Yeah I know. It's terrible, it's awful. I don't know how to cope with that. Jesus, the things I have to go through! These days it's not the same is it used to be in Take That. There was too many, you know and not enough time. [Laughs.] No, but there was too many and it became really uncomfortable and it became really claustrophobic. These days pretty much people buy the records and then leave me alone. They come to see the gig, buy the records, I enjoy that you know? Not many hang out at the hotel these days.
Would you say you're still down-to-earth or is that impossible now that you're a rich and successful pop star?
I think it's impossible for me not to have my own take on the world, because I'm presented daily with a world that isn't real. You know the way people talk to me and the way people are with me is what I've come to learn is not real. So I would say that i have things that people would see as being pop-starish, because I don't know how to be anything other than that. [Laughs.]
Do you believe that being a celebrity and having lots of money could lead to a skewed version of life?
I don't know if that's neccessarily true. I think that propaganda started by the media, 'cos the media is the one big major force behind 'building somebody up, knock somebody down' and I think that people like to believe that pop stars, rock stars, actors, models, musicians ... think they are better than people ... it makes ... people feel better about themselves thinking that 'there's something wrong with that guy'. And that's kinda sad.
Do you have a special trick to keep yourself on the ground or is it just the way you are?
No. I don't believe that I'm grounded. I believe that I'm grounded more than I've ever been, but I don't believe in any shape or form ... you know I'm from a council estate in Stoke-on-Trent. I'm from a working class background and in the space of a few short years I've found myself travelling on private jets and staying in really nice hotels - me and royalty. And the government. That's really weird [laughs]. You know it has got to have an effect on you. A public opinion on you has got to have an effect on you in some way until you sort it out and you realise it doesn't mean anything. But I don't believe I've got my feet on the ground. I've got my head in the clouds.
How has the end of your writing partnership with Guy Chambers affected you?
I've written a lot of my own songs myself, but no one seems to appreciate that. It pisses me off because everyone thinkgs Guy penned my hits Let me entertain you and Angels, even though these are my songs! Just because I'm Robbie Williams, who came from Take That, nobody credits me with anything! I guess it's understandable, because I wasn't the songwriter, or proven talent in that boy band. Hence, when I create my own albums, people automatically assume that the lion's share of it is done by someone else. But it's now: I write lyrics, I write melodies - all of them - and occasionally I write the music too. But unless you're sat in the room, watching me write, how would you know that?
Do you still have any goals?
Yeah. Do it all again but make it better.
Will we be seeing you live soon?
I can't wait to get out and tour because releasing an album and touring is the biggest buzz of all, for me. I love it, it's what I do for kicks these days. It's better than any bottle of booze or gram of coke I've ever had! It's funny though. I always feel really sick before I go onstage, especially if it's a massive show, because it's just me, Rob, getting up there. But once I'm onstage it's different - suddenly 'Robbie' enters and takes over! It's like I'm a different person, wearing protective armour, who's there to entertain everyone! It's great, because I want people to feel entertained.
I've heard you like singing in the nude. Why do you do that?
Because I've got a huge c**k! No, I don't know. I actually just took my pants down, for a laugh, while recording one of the songs on Escapology, and everybody laughed, so I laughed. Then I thought, actually, I quite like this and then everyone got a bit uneasy because I refused to put my clothes on! Everyone was like, 'Put it away, there's nothin to see.' And there really isn't, but it was kind of liberating. I felt really free doing it and it was inspiring - although it didn't really inspire anyone else, I can tell you!
You seem to strip off quite a lot. You're always pulling your pants down on stage ...
You know what? I'm probably going to be one of those embarrassing fathers who's a naturist when I'm older. I guess I just like taking my pants down!
Interview by Natasha James and Jude Swaine/ Famous
Photographs by AAP, Australia, Hamish Brown/Idols,Scope