Robbie Williams is in a much better place. On his own admission marriage and fatherhood have brought some much-needed stability to his life.
Stability has never been a problem for his bank account, which continues to grow steadily, thanks to a sell-out European tour with his former band mates in Take That, a concert at the O2 arena, a new deal with his music company Universal and a new album.
The album Take the Crown went straight into the album charts in the UK at number one, while the single from it – Candy – was still at the top of the singles charts. It’s doing well in the US and he plans a Take the Crown stadium tour in 2013.
And he hasn’t ruled out working with Take That again. He and Gary Barlow seem to have buried the hatchet and are now the best of chums, much to the delight of the legions of Take That and Robbie fans.
It’s very different to Robbie’s time out UFO watching and star-gazing in the States. The Stoke-on-Trent lad is well and truly back.
It’s not just his fans who will be thrilled to see his return to form. So will many of the charities and good causes he supports.
His charity Give it Sum, managed by Comic Relief, continues quietly to support a host of community and self help projects in his native North Staffordshire, the best known probably being the Donna Louise Trust Treetops Hospice in Trentham which he has actively supported for many years.
A UNICEF ambassador for the last 12 years, he also co-founded Soccer Aid which raised £4.9 million when the fourth bi-annual Soccer Aid match was played at Old Trafford. Soccer Aid has raised more than £12 million for UNICEF since its launch.
Aged 38, he was born and raised in Burslem. His father was a comedian and his mother a florist. He was a member of boy band Take That from 1990 to 1995, and after leaving became one of the most successful male solo artists in British history with album sales approaching 60 million worldwide.
In 2002 he signed the biggest recording contract in British music history with an £80 million deal with EMI. The proceeds of that deal are still rolling in.
Last year he launched his own menswear label – Farrell – at Selfridges. The label is named after his own grandfather Jack Farrell. The brand’s logo is the Staffordshire Knot.
He is a lifelong supporter of Port Vale FC and will have been watching its latest travails anxiously as the club spent eight months in administration before finding new owners. He made a substantial investment in the club in 2006, and when he started up a football club in Los Angeles he named it LA Vale. What else?