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Robbie Williams reveals it took nearly dying from ‘abnormalities’ on his brain in Zurich to change

Robbie Williams thought he was ‘protected’ and ‘like a cat with a billion lives’, before ‘something that looked like blood’ in his brain sent him into intensive care.

The former Take That star, 45, only realised he had to start looking after himself when he was taken seriously ill while backstage during a show in Zurich in 2017.

He told The Sun that he has since ‘refocused’ his life to prevent ‘extremities’ after his battle with social anxiety left him wanting to hide away at the same time as performing in front of millions.

Success: Robbie Williams, 45, only realised he had to start looking after himself when he was taken seriously ill while backstage during a show in Zurich in 2017 (pictured on Thursday)

He told the publication: ‘It’s probably why I am on such good form today. It takes nearly dying for someone like me to change the way they live. 

‘I’ve always thought I was protected and I’ve gone out of my way to test that hypothesis. Like a cat, I’ve had a billion lives. 

‘But this was the closest and scariest. I also had this f***ed up feeling that I was immortal. But all is OK with my brain now.’

In September 2017, Robbie’s left arm went numb, he couldn’t stop dribbling out of the side of his mouth, he had a headache and couldn’t breath. 

Back to health: In September 2017 Robbie's left arm went numb, he couldn't stop dribbling out of the side of his mouth, he had a headache and couldn't breath (pictured in November 2016)

Back to health: In September 2017 Robbie’s left arm went numb, he couldn’t stop dribbling out of the side of his mouth, he had a headache and couldn’t breath (pictured in November 2016)

A doctor was called backstage but the then-43-year-old was given the all-clear to continue his Heavy Entertainment Show world tour – despite symptoms continuing. 

He was due to fly to Russia for the last two shows of the tour, but stopped off in London for emergency tests.

There he had scans and blood tests, when ‘abnormalities’ were found. He was sent straight to the intensive care unit.

Recovery: He was due to fly to Russia for the last two shows of the tour, but stopped off in London for emergency tests (pictured in December 2017)

Recovery: He was due to fly to Russia for the last two shows of the tour, but stopped off in London for emergency tests (pictured in December 2017)

His wife, Ayda, and their children Teddy, then five, and Charlie, then three, were in the US at the time.

After treatment he was allowed to fly to Los Angeles to spend two months doing nothing so his brain could heal.

The addict, who has been sober for nearly 20 years, then started yoga and Pilates in an effort to bring calm to his life.

Calm: The addict, who has been sober for nearly 20 years, then started yoga and Pilates in an effort to bring calm to his life (pictured performing at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland)

Calm: The addict, who has been sober for nearly 20 years, then started yoga and Pilates in an effort to bring calm to his life (pictured performing at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland)

‘I’m a very anxious person, and that had also taken hold of my life, and I needed to find a way to deal with it,’ he told The Sun at the time.

Robbie now lives in a house in the Wiltshire countryside that feels like the first home he has had since leaving Stoke-on-Trent when he was 17, he told The Sun.

He lives with his wife and three children; Teddy, Charlie and one-year-old Coco – born through a surrogate. 

Healthier: Robbie now lives in a house in the Wiltshire countryside that feels like the first home he has had since leaving Stoke-on-Trent when he was 17, he told The Sun

Healthier: Robbie now lives in a house in the Wiltshire countryside that feels like the first home he has had since leaving Stoke-on-Trent when he was 17, he told The Sun

The revelations came after Robbie opened up about his darker days during an interview on the Jonathan Ross show on Thursday.

He said Elton John helped him turn his life around, admitting his stint in rehab came as he was recording the vocals for some of his biggest tracks including Angels and Let Me Entertain You on his first album.

Robbie said: ‘He really tried to help. In the early days when I was first getting sober, there was a week until I had to go to Rehab and I had two vocals to do on my first album, one of them was ‘Angels’ and one of them was ‘Let Me Entertain You.’

Dear friend: Robbie Williams has revealed that he was forced to go to rehab by Elton John after he turned up to his house following a drinking bender

Dear friend: Robbie Williams has revealed that he was forced to go to rehab by Elton John after he turned up to his house following a drinking bender

‘I was going to do these vocals then go to Rehab. Elton invited me to his house to listen to the work that I’d done so far. That morning I got in a black cab and I had this game that I used to play where I’d stop at every pub I saw and have half a pint.

‘I’d had ten half pints before I’d got to the studio. I ended up under the mixing desk, had a bit of red wine and then I knew I had to get to Elton’s for three o’clock.’

Robbie said that when he arrived at Elton’s house and the singer opened the door he was covered in food and red wine stains following his boozy afternoon.

Helping hand: The singer opened up about his darker days during an interview on the Jonathan Ross show and revealed that the Rocketman singer helped him turn his life around

Helping hand: The singer opened up about his darker days during an interview on the Jonathan Ross show and revealed that the Rocketman singer helped him turn his life around

When he arrived Elton insisted he went to rehab now, but Robbie recalled telling the pop icon: ‘I can’t go to Rehab now, I’m going next week.’

‘He said, “No you’ve got to go to Rehab now” and I said, “I’ve got to go to Rehab now” and this kept going back and forth at the door.’

Refusing to take no for an answer, Elton took a drunk Robbie to his house in Windsor and put him up for the night and set up arrangements for rehab.

Dark days: Robbie admitted his stint in rehab came as he was recording the vocals for some of his biggest tracks including Angels and Let Me Entertain You on his first album

Dark days: Robbie admitted his stint in rehab came as he was recording the vocals for some of his biggest tracks including Angels and Let Me Entertain You on his first album

Dark days: Robbie admitted his stint in rehab came as he was recording the vocals for some of his biggest tracks including Angels and Let Me Entertain You on his first album

He said: 'He really tried to help. In the early days when I was first getting sober, there was a week until I had to go to Rehab and I had two vocals to do on my first album'

He said: ‘He really tried to help. In the early days when I was first getting sober, there was a week until I had to go to Rehab and I had two vocals to do on my first album’

Robbie recalled: ‘I wake up but I haven’t opened my eyes and there’s a knock on my shoulder and I look and there’s… Elton and David Furnish and a doctor and a psychiatrist and they are here to take me away.’ 

He joked: ‘I’m like, “I don’t think I’m getting out of this.” I was going to use my charm.’

Talking sweetly about his old friend Elton, Robbie added: ‘Elton is the most loving, generous man you could imagine and he has helped so many people over the years.

Struggles: 'I was going to do these vocals then go to Rehab. Elton invited me to his house to listen to the work that I'd done so far. That morning I got in a black cab and I had this game that I used to play where I'd stop at every pub I saw and have half a pint'

Struggles: ‘I was going to do these vocals then go to Rehab. Elton invited me to his house to listen to the work that I’d done so far. That morning I got in a black cab and I had this game that I used to play where I’d stop at every pub I saw and have half a pint’

‘It was a big moment being in Elton John’s kitchen sobering up over some carrots thinking “How am I going to get myself out of this mess?”‘

Robbie also discussed being sober for the past 19 years and revealed that being teetotal ‘becomes who you are’, despite it being a struggle at first.

He said: ‘At the beginning you are thinking, ‘How am I going to get through day one?” and then ‘How am I going to get through week one?

Not again! And on whether his kids enjoy his music, Robbie said: 'They have started to say, 'Not Daddy again!' Teddy is into Jojo Siwa and she loves Taylor Swift

Not again! And on whether his kids enjoy his music, Robbie said: ‘They have started to say, ‘Not Daddy again!’ Teddy is into Jojo Siwa and she loves Taylor Swift

‘I was with the kids last week and they were doing riding and I just had this moment where I was just looking at the kids on the horses and I just thought, “I’d have never imagined that I could feel this content and this happy”.

‘It’s nice when you realise how far you’ve come and who you are now as opposed to the person you were and all those thoughts and fears about losing yourself and becoming a non person are really untrue. It was just a beautiful moment.’

Robbie, who is releasing a Christmas album dubbed The Christmas Present, revealed that he really wanted to collaborate with Britney Spears on Fairytale of New York however when she was not free he refused to do it with anyone else.

Gushing: 'My wife is like a professional memory maker, she is from LA and all the anniversaries and Valentines and Christmasses and birthdays have to be absolutely perfect and I've sort of got taken away with that energy' (pictured in December 2018)

Gushing: ‘My wife is like a professional memory maker, she is from LA and all the anniversaries and Valentines and Christmasses and birthdays have to be absolutely perfect and I’ve sort of got taken away with that energy’ (pictured in December 2018)

A surprising addition to the album is boxer Tyson Fury, who Robbie met in Vegas during his residency and after hearing him sing he wanted to add him to the album.

Looking ahead to Christmas with his family, Robbie said: ‘[Christmas] is a lot of everything, it’s too much of everything. I have three children, Teddy is seven, Charlie is five and Coco is 14 months old. 

‘My wife is like a professional memory maker, she is from LA and all the anniversaries and Valentines and Christmasses and birthdays have to be absolutely perfect and I’ve sort of got taken away with that energy.’

Show: Robbie surprised s fans with a performance at the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland to celebrate the release of his first Christmas album The Christmas Present

Show: Robbie surprised s fans with a performance at the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland to celebrate the release of his first Christmas album The Christmas Present

Show: Robbie surprised s fans with a performance at the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland to celebrate the release of his first Christmas album The Christmas Present

And on whether his kids enjoy his music, Robbie said: ‘They have started to say, ‘Not Daddy again!’ Teddy is into Jojo Siwa and she loves Taylor Swift.

What is very sweet is I wrote songs for them and each night Teddy does ask me to sing her a lullaby and it’s always her song. I wrote a song called ‘Go gentle, for all your days and nights, I’m going to be there’ and then Charlie wants me to sing his.’

On whether they’d go into performing, he said: ‘Teddy is very much jazz hands, she came out of the womb like that… 

‘Charlie is like me off stage and Teddy is like me on stage and we don’t know what Coco is like yet… Coco has started to walk and she is taking in different things. She surely is going to be adding to the spirit of this Christmas for us all.’

The Jonathan Ross Show continues Saturday at 10.10pm on ITV       

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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