"Not proud. Not how I’m raising my kids... Yikes."
Sophie Ellis-Bextor has apologised to Robbie Williams for comments she made in 1998 that ended up in the Angels singer’s Netflix documentary series.
In a clip shared in his documentary, Ellis-Bextor was 19 years old and, on a UK panel series, said, “To me, he hasn't got any charm about him, why people embrace him, I find it baffling, and it makes me a bit sad really.”
Taking to Instagram yesterday (13 November), the Murder On The Dancefloor singer revealed that she had watched the documentary (“It’s great”) and had friends and followers messaging about her cameo. She apologised for her statements to Williams, telling viewers that she felt “horrible” and “terrible” about what she said for “about 20 years”.
She and Williams subsequently made up and have since made music together, with Ellis-Bextor appearing on the track Immortal on Visions Volume 1, the October 2023 debut album from Williams’ dance project, Lufthaus. You can check out Immortal below.
“In 1998, aged 19, I was very rude about Robbie Williams and the clip of me being horrid is included in his brilliant Netflix documentary,” Ellis-Bextor wrote alongside the video statement. “I didn’t need to see it again to feel bad. I genuinely have felt crappy about how I spoke for the 25 years since I said it.”
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Ellis-Bextor continued to write that she thought it was “clever to be gobby back then” but knows it wasn’t cool then and worse to see it now. “Not proud. Not how I’m raising my kids. That being said, I wanted to reach out and apologise, so a few years back, I found an address for Robbie and wrote him a note to say how sorry I was. He was very gracious and forgiving.”
Last summer, Ellis-Bextor met and spent time with Robbie, his wife Ayda, and their children. “It was lovely to be able to become friends, and we have now made some songs together,” she wrote. “I suppose the moral of this story is, as ever, be kind. To own your mistakes. And if you’re ever cruel, try to make sure it’s not filmed, as it’s bloody brutal to see sharp-tongued teenage me after all these years! Yikes.”
Ellis-Bextor isn’t the only one apologising for statements made in her youth. In the Netflix documentary, Williams apologised to his former Take That bandmate Gary Barlow for things he said when he resented Barlow’s assurance at the height of fame.
In the episode, the Feel singer watched footage of himself on stage and addressed the audience: “Somebody is booing me down here that actually likes Gary Barlow. He's not selling any more records now, girls! Let's face it, he's dead.”
After witnessing the footage, Williams said, “I'm sorry that I treated Gary like that.”
Williams is back in Australia. This Thursday, 16 November, he’ll perform a show at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium. From there, he heads to Melbourne’s AAMI Park on Wednesday, 22 and Thursday, 23 November, and performs at A Day On The Green events at Sirromet Wines, Mt Duneed Estate, and the Nikola Estate.