If there's one thing you can definitely say about Robbie Williams it's that he's a born entertainer. It's been 26 years since he first came on to the music scene and provided us with some of the best hits of our time, and now he's got another album coming out – the aptly named The Heavy Entertainment Show – so we invited him into BuzzFeed UK to learn a bit more about him with a game of Never Have I Ever. Entertaining? Immensely. Hilarious stories? Of course. Here's what went down...
Never Have I Ever...
Pulled a scary prank on someone.
Robbie Williams: Erm, yes. We were staying in a castle once. It's not a really great story, but yes, I did pull a scary prank on Guy Chambers, who I write songs with. We were staying at a castle and I put a walkie-talkie under his bed. And he went to bed and he claims that I said [puts on creepy whispering voice] "you are going to die" [smiles cheekily], and I probably did do that. But I wouldn't say that now, I'd just make ghostly noises. But at the time I probably said "you're going to die" and it probably, well, it definitely scared him.
I would have not been happy if you'd done that to me.
RW: Yeah. He came back down to the room and we all just pretended and we just got on with whatever we were pretending to be getting on with and it worked.
Been mistaken for a doppelgänger.
RW: Guilty! I have been mistaken, it was quite a few years ago, for Johnny Knoxville [from Jackass]. And the guy in America, it was in Los Angeles, and he's like, [puts on American accent] 'You're Johnny Knoxville, man!' I'm like, 'I'm not.' It was like, 'That's what Johnny Knoxville would say,' and in the end I just had to go, 'OK, I'm Johnny Knoxville.'
Told someone you cooked dinner but really you ordered takeout.
RW: I haven't cooked... [thinks] I did an omelette once. But it was decades ago.
Practiced pickup lines in the mirror.
RW: No, I just haven't. [laughs and cheekily points at his own face because he DOESN'T NEED THE PRACTICE. Look at that face.]
Had a paranormal experience.
RW: Guilty. I've had quite a few paranormal experiences.
Really?! Tell us your best one.
RW: My bestest one... UFO... sober, sitting back one night [at a] hotel. I would say twice the size of this room. Which is not good for you at home. It was big [stretches arms out wide]. What can I say it was like? It was like two penalty boxes at football and it was just there and it was just above the trees and it looked like a platform of some kind... And then it just floated off. Crazy. But I've had quite a few of those.
Embarrassed yourself on a music video set.
RW: Guilty. I have embarrassed myself on a music video set.
BF: Anything in particular, or just generally?
RW: [smirks] I got really... I used to get really drunk A LOT. All the time. And then I happened to find myself in a music video whilst being drunk. It was on the "Kids" video, "Kids" being the duet I did with Kylie Minogue. And there was a scene, we were in a swimming pool and then Kylie – the camera's here – and then she puts her legs over the camera like this [mimics Kylie doing it] and then her negligee falls away... and I was really drunk and nobody told me that that's what was happening. And then naked Kylie was under the nothing negligee and it just shocked me and I am the sort of person that will laugh at a funeral and it just shocked me into giddy laughing hysteria. Which is not the coolest move I've ever made. Embarrassing.
RW: Guilty. [smirks] I've probably googled myself about 10 times today.
Prank-called another pop star.
RW: No, I haven't ever prank-called a pop star. [smiles] But the phone went once when I was in bed, I was watching the television, it was about 1997, and the phone went and I went "hello" and they went [puts on Italian accent] "hello...Robbie" and I went "hiya", [Italian voice] "it's Pavarotti", and I went "well, fuck off, Pavarotti" and put the phone down, that ain't fucking Pavarotti. The phone went again and it was Pavarotti. I told Pavarotti to go fuck himself.
Gone without a mobile phone for a week.
RW: I got rid of my cellphone in 2006. I don't own a cellphone. I have a cellphone that's with various people that work with me but it's just a walkie-talkie to my wife. I hate phones. I have a phone phobia. I feel claustrophobic and panicky when I'm on the phone. It's a thing! I googled it and it's something-something-phobia. So it exists and I'm like, oh OK, it's not just me, there are other people like me. I hate phones.
Stalked someone on Instagram and accidentally double-tapped their picture.
RW: Erm, no. Because since Instagram existed I've been married with my wife, who was my girlfriend at one point. And then became my fiancé... You know how it goes.
Accidentally mistaken another celebrity for someone else.
RW: I'm trying to think. [asks friend] Can you think of any?
Robbie's friend: You could tell the Chris Rock story, as it's sort of linked.
RW: OK, so I do have a story about that but it's not me... It's not about me mistaking a celebrity. I've mistaken myself for being a celebrity. Confused? It's OK, I will explain.
So I'm in Los Angeles, in a country where I am not famous, but lots of celebrities that are there that have travelled might have done a bit of promotional work in Europe, might recognise me from being that man off the television. Some might have invested in me emotionally in some sort of way: either I hate him or I like him. And I never know whether I'm in the "famous club" with these celebrities that are out in Los Angeles. And one night I'm at the Beverly Hills Hotel and it's Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Osbourne's New Year's Eve party or Christmas party, I can't remember. Anyway, they had gifting suites – gifting suites are these things where they open and they give famous people free stuff and famous people's friends free stuff – and at the time I was like, I'm above this, I'm above free stuff... Now I'm all about the free stuff, just give me free stuff. But my mum was totally into it, so she queued up for the gifting suite, [so] I went and walked upstairs and waited for me mum.
And I'm leaning against the wall, like this, and I've gone off into a meditative state, I'm sort of in a trance, I'm staring at the top of the stairs where hopefully my mum's going to appear...and then I realise that in my conscious there's actually somebody walking towards me. I'm like, "Oh, there's somebody walking towards me, you better come to the front of your head and engage with them in some sort of way." I'm like, "Oh, it's Chris Rock, oh, Chris Rock's looking at me! Am I in the famous club? Do I keep looking at Chris Rock? Chris Rock's looking at me, you're looking at Chris Rock, attempt a smile." I attempt a smile, it's not a very convincing smile, and I'm like, "Well, if you look away now and he does know who you are, you'll be the rudest man ever, carry on staring at Chris Rock." Then Chris Rock was getting closer and closer and closer and then he'd just go up to me and he'd go, "What, motherfucker?!" And he walked off. And so I wasn't in the famous club with Chris Rock.
Two months later I'm at a U2 concert and I'm in the celebrity pen and Chris Rock's stood with John Cusack. John Cusack turns around and looks in my direction and he goes like that [waves] and I'm going [ignoring John]. I know what happened last time, I embarrassed myself, he's not waving at me. Second time he goes like [waves harder] and I'm like [looks away] and the third time he waves and goes [waves and pulls an annoyed face] and gives it a "what a dick" face. And I'm like, "I better turn around and see who he's waving at," and I turn around and it's just a brick wall. He was waving at me. So I sort of killed two celebrities with one stone and my neuroses – Chris Rock and John Cusack. Sorry, John Cusack, you were waving at me, I think. Big wave back from the future. And to Chris Rock, I'm really, really sorry. I was just the dick that was staring at you.
RW: Guilty. I've gone skinny-dipping quite a lot. None that I can remember, really. I would be a naturist if my penis was just that much longer. But it's not. It's not the biggest penis. And I quite like being naked. And I'd love to be naked a lot in front of people, but the cock's just too small. But there's been the times when I've been drunk and amongst friends that don't go "hahaha". [laughs and pretends to point at his own penis]