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How Robbie Williams landed place in Take That through mum

Janet Williams played a pivotal role in the formation of Take That

Robbie Williams with his mum Janet in 2002
Megan Bull
Megan BullTV Writer
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In 1990, Robbie Williams got his big break after becoming the youngest member of Take That, at the age of 16. While the star has rarely spoken about his journey to stardom – with the exception of his new, namesake Netflix series – it was the 2006 documentary, Take That: For the Record, that first shed light on Robbie's meteoric rise, and it all started with his mum, Janet Williams. 

WATCH: Robbie Williams tells his life story in new documentary

According to the documentary, it was Janet who first discovered a newspaper advertisement for a new boy band, and subsequently encouraged Robbie to try out. By the time her son had turned 16, Janet was already aware of Robbie's impressive musical talents, and acting abilities, so it seemed like a perfect fit. 

Robbie and Janet Williams at a 2002 premiere together© Getty
It was Janet who came across the ad for the Take That audition and encouraged Robbie to try out

During his audition and interview, Robbie met with Take That manager, Nigel Martin-Smith, and he also crossed paths with his future bandmate, Mark Owen. At the time of his audition, the boy band was originally named Kick It, however, it was ultimately changed to Take That 18 months later. 

According to Mail Online, Robbie had been spending time with his father, Pete Conway, when Janet had called him with the news that he'd been accepted into Take That – and the rest, as they say, is history! 

Reflecting on his singing career in 2022, Robbie told the Daily Star that it feels like a "fluke," especially as he'd started out with a different path in mind. 

"I thought I was going to become an actor," he said. "Singing seemed too obvious to me. I wanted to be an actor but in the sense of a showman, who can do a bit of comedy. But, I was lucky to land this audition and end up in a boy band.

Robbie Williams smiling at a press photo opportunity© Getty Images
Robbie originally thought he'd be an actor

"My career is a fluke because I was just looking for a break, and if I'd been offered the chance to be a TV presenter I wouldn't be here talking about my latest album."

A huge source of support in her son's life, Janet clearly played a pivotal role in the formation of Take That, and she continues to share the sweetest bond with Robbie. 

MORE: Robbie Williams' mini-me daughter Teddy is following in his footsteps in adorable video

READ: Robbie Williams meets royal family backstage after concert in Luxembourg – photos

Speaking about his mum in 1998, Robbie said: "My mum is the pillar of strength that has kept me sane throughout my mad life. She's the most important woman in my life and always will be."

robbie williams youthful mum© Photo: Instagram
Robbie and his mum Janet in 2019

In 2016, Robbie dedicated a performance of his hit song, One of God's Better People, to Janet, and in 2019, Robbie's wife, Ayda Field, shared the most heartwarming video of Robbie and his mum.  

As the singer and his mum duetted  to Kool & The Gang's Celebration, Robbie, 49, could be seen planting a kiss on his mum's head and joked: "95 today! Soap and water!" Ayda captioned the video: "Happy Birthday to my amazing mother-in-law, Nannie Jannie! @robbiewilliams #birthdaylove #nansdoitbest #happybirthday AWxx." She also posted another video of Janet blowing out her birthday candles as the family cheered her on.