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Monday, 28 October, 2002, 15:51 GMT
Robbie slates reality pop shows
Robbie Williams
Williams's new album will be released in November
Pop singer Robbie Williams has attacked reality TV talent shows for making entertainment out of the cruel treatment of hopeful, young stars.

Williams, who is gearing up to release his next solo album, said the way contestants were evicted on shows like Popstars: The Rivals and Fame Academy was ruthless.

"I've nothing against anyone following their dreams - but not if they're crap," he said.

"There's a lot of talent but it's such cruel television," adding that the shows messed with people's lives 'for entertainment'.

"But it's great TV," he added.

Will Young and Gareth Gates
Will Young and Gareth Gates were Pop Idol finalists
He also criticised the way Popstars: The Rivals made evicted hopefuls perform again straight after telling them they were being kicked out.

Williams made the comments while filming a BBC special called The Robbie Williams Show, to be screened in mid-November.

His performance included the unveiling of songs from his new album, Escapology, as well as playing a string of his past hits at the concert.

It was described as "a musical journey through Rob's personal songbook" by the BBC.

Escapology was at the centre of a record label bidding war that saw him sign with EMI for a reported £80m at the start of October.

'Time heals'

His new single, Feel, got its radio debut on BBC Radio 1 on Friday.

The star also hinted that he broke up with former fiancée Nicole Appleton by singing one of his new songs to her.

The song, Sexed Up, includes the repeated line: "Why don't we break up?"

"The day I wrote this I played it to my then girlfriend and I had closed my eyes to sing it," he said.

"When I opened them again she was curled up in a ball in the corner of the room - still, time heals all wounds."

He said the girlfriend in question dated back to 1998 and was now in a relationship with a rock singer.


I would never ever do a tax year out - it's only money and I love Britain

Robbie Williams
Williams got together with Appleton at the start of 1998, and she is now engaged to Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher.

She recently revealed that she had been pregnant with Williams's baby, but had an abortion because she was still in her now disbanded group All Saints.

Williams also used his concert to scotch rumours that he would move away from the UK to become a tax exile.

"I would never ever do a tax year out - it's only money and I love Britain," he said.

Escapology is released on 18 November, and is expected to be one of the biggest sellers of the Christmas period.

See also:

25 Oct 02 | Entertainment
11 Oct 02 | Entertainment
27 Oct 02 | Entertainment
28 Oct 02 | Entertainment
02 Oct 02 | Entertainment
26 Mar 02 | Entertainment
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