Page last updated at 14:04 GMT, Saturday, 28 March 2009

Robbie meets Take That in studio

By Ian Youngs
Music reporter, BBC News

Robbie Williams in 2006
Robbie Williams released his last album, Rudebox, in 2006

Robbie Williams has started recording his new solo album - at the same studio complex where Take That are working.

Williams' album, due out this autumn, is being produced by Trevor Horn, who has crafted hits for Frankie Goes To Hollywood, ABC and Seal.

Horn's west London headquarters is also being used by Gary Barlow.

"They're all in the building. Gary is in one of the rooms and Robbie's there, so they bump into each other and they get on brilliantly well," Horn said.

Horn, whose Sarm West complex has four recording studios, described Williams and his former bandmates as "really good friends".

Williams recently said it would be "fun" to rejoin his old bandmates, and that a return was "looking more likely by the week".

Take That
Take That are going on a stadium tour this summer

It is possible that the fivesome will get back together on stage as a one-off appearance, potentially during the group's summer stadium tour.

But Williams' spokesman stressed that there were no current plans for him to take part in full concerts with the group or record new material with them.

"He is fully focused on getting the album together and there are no plans for a Take That reunion," the spokesman said.

Speaking to BBC News, Horn described Williams as "without a doubt one of the best singers I've ever worked with".

Williams has been largely out of the spotlight since 2006, when he released his last album Rudebox and went on a world tour.

Trevor Horn
Trevor Horn was in Buggles, Yes and Art of Noise

Rudebox was a relative commercial and critical disappointment, ending up as the 41st best selling album of 2006 in the UK.

The forthcoming release will be his last album under his current contract with EMI.

Horn has been in the bands The Buggles, Yes and Art of Noise, and won the Brit Award for best British producer three times in the 1980s and '90s.

He helped shape the 1980s pop sound through production work including Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Relax and Two Tribes, and ABC's chart-topping 1982 album The Lexicon of Love.

He won a Grammy Award in 1995 for Seal's Kiss from a Rose and produced the Pet Shop Boys' 2006 album Fundamental.

On Friday, Horn received a lifetime achievement award from the Radio Academy at its Radio & Music Forum in London.

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