New dad Robbie Williams switched on Oxford Street's Christmas lights in front of a strong crowd of 20,000 fans. The star was joined by Spice Girl Emma Bunton, who helped him push the button to light up the famous street."Tonight's event was incredible – the Oxford Street crowds were amazing, and it was fantastic being part of the celebrations," said Robbie.The Take That singer was in mood of celebration on Monday night for another special reason, his single Candy topped the official singles chart making it his first solo UK number one hit for eight years.
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It is the 14th number one of his career – including Take That – meaning he has drawn level with bandmate Gary Barlow, who co-wrote the song.The singer, who became a father in September after wife Ayda gave birth to their first child Theodora Rose, said he was not keeping count.
He said: "I'm like a footballer who doesn't know how many he's scored."Speaking backstage in Oxford Street, Robbie laughed off claims his song sounds similar to a prominent television advert for Haribo sweets.
"The Haribo advert sounds like ring-a-ring of roses so it does sound like the Haribo advert, yes you're right, but they can't sue me because they also sound like a nursery rhyme from a couple of centuries ago."It was pointed out to me via YouTube when I read the comments and I was like 'oh yeah, it does doesn't it?' but I think every song has been written now and everything sounds similar."Robbie said his daughter's arrival meant there would be "more love" and "nativity-ness" this Christmas."It feels wonderful. I was away for a few days and I hadn't seen her and I walked through the door and the first thing I wanted to do was pick her up and put her in my arms."
Straight after switching on the lights, Robbie attended the Music Industry Trust Awards to support former bandmate Gary Barlow, who picked up a prestigious award.Presenting the award, Sir Elton John said Gary was a "thoroughly fine human being" who had come through bad times without any bitterness.The Prince Wales also paid tribute to the star in a video message recorded before he embarked on his Jubilee tour."It seems to me you inspire goodwill wherever you go and your appeal transcends the ages, a very rare feat if I may say so," said Prince Charles."Over the past 25 years, you have become one of the great stars of the British music industry and you are the very embodiment of that rare species, 'a national treasure'".
Gary, 41, ended the night by performing a solo set including a cover version of Van Morrison's Moondance, before reuniting with Robbie Williams for his new single Candy. Gary was then joined on stage by his other three bandmates, before Robbie came back for a rousing rendition of Never Forget.Afterwards, Robbie tweeted: "There is nothing better than having the band back together for a moment."Gary had previously hinted about the brief reunion, sending a tweet to Robbie which said: "Get those lights switched on and then get round here for a sing song!"