Robbie Williams is on the comeback trail. After a couple of years of UFO watching and star-gazing in the States, the Stoke-on-Trent lad is well and truly back. His new album, Reality Killed The Video Star, produced by music legend Trevor Horn, came within a few hundred sales of topping the album charts and made the top of the iTunes charts in 17 countries. The single from it – Bodies – was his biggest selling single since Rock DJ.

He’s made some high profile TV appearances, including an Electric Proms concert, a guest spot on The X Factor and an appearance on the Albert Hall concert for Children in Need, organised by his old chum and former band colleague Gary Barlow.

Any past rifts between Robbie Williams and his former Take That band members seem to be well and truly repaired. He sang Hey Jude with them and others at the Children in Need concert, and he’s due to go into the studio with them.

His UK fans will be thrilled to see his return. And so will many of the charities and good causes he supports.

His charity Give it Sum 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. The hospice recently celebrated its 10th birthday and Robbie was on hand to do the voiceover for a film to mark the occasion and to give a welcome boost to their fund-raising activities.

Aged 35, 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 55 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.

He is a lifelong supporter of Port Vale FC and continues to be a shareholder.