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Robbie Williams: Why did he leave Take That and is he still friends with Gary Barlow?

The Candy singer has a new documentary out on Netflix

All five members of Take That
Matthew Moore
Matthew MooreOnline News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
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Robbie Williams is back in the spotlight thanks to the release of his self-titled Netflix documentary. The star rocketed to fame in the 1990s as part of boyband Take That before leaving the band in 1995.

At the time, reports suggested that he left the group in order to focus on his issues with alcohol addiction, with some saying he was asked to leave after being seen partying with Oasis. However, speaking to Scott Mills on Robbie Williams: My Life Thru a Lens, he shared: "I think that I was in the middle of a nervous breakdown, my first of many. It felt like I was in some sort of burning building and I needed to get out. That's how it felt at the time."

WATCH: Robbie Williams opens up about life in new documentary

Robbie confirmed he was planning on following through with the band's Nobody Else tour, before saying: "And then I was like, 'okay, I'll do this tour and then I'll leave.' And they actually went, 'Actually, if you're going to leave, can you go now?'"

Robbie returned to the band in 2010, co-writing and performing on their album, Progress. However, a year later Take That's frontman, Gary Barlow confirmed that Robbie had decided to leave the group again in order to focus on his solo career. Gary did extend an olive branch, saying Robbie would be welcome to return at any point.

Is Robbie Williams friends with Gary Barlow?

Robbie and Gary have famously butted heads in the past, with Robbie even confessing in his documentary that his fellow bandmate was his "least favourite".

Speaking to his daughter, Teddy, the father-of-four revealed: "I disliked Gary the most because he was the one who was supposed to have everything and the career, and I wanted to make him pay. I was vengeful."

Despite their rivalry, the pair have since reconciled and are once again friends. Back in 2007, when probed on their relationship, Gary said: "Yes, we met. We had a great chat… He's really well and we're good buds again."

Take That posing for group shot © Getty Images
Take That formed in Manchester in 1990

Lifting the lid more on their meeting during a Radio 1 interview, Robbie explained: "It is one of those situations in life that could be very explosive and could go completely wrong. We had that big chat and the most amazing thing happened at the end of it. We both said sorry to each other, and we both meant it and that was all we needed. It just lifted so much off my shoulders that I didn't know was still there."

Gary also had a bit of jealousy towards Robbie due to the singer's success as a solo artist. In his book, A Different Stage, the 52-year-old penned: "I felt a bit jealous that I wasn't the one who'd stood up and said: 'Up yours, I wanna have some fun. I'm a pop star, I'm going to behave like one for a bit'.

robbie williams with arm around gary barlow © Getty Images
Gary and Robbie have buried the hatchet

"None of us wanted to leave Take That, but watching someone else leave I — we all — couldn't help but think about taking the leap too."

RELATED: Where is Robbie's writing partner Guy Chambers now?

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