HE has long been the country’s best entertainer so it seems perfect that Robbie Williams is getting the Hollywood treatment from the man behind The Greatest Showman.
Robbie is having his life story adapted into a biopic by Michael Gracey, who directed the hit musical starring Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron.
Better Man will tell the story of the former Take That member’s rise to fame — as well as his battles with drink and drugs.
And while Robbie is a household name here and went to No1 with his debut solo album Life Through A Lens, Michael is convinced the movie will finally rocket the singer’s career to new heights in the US.
The film will feature new versions of his top songs, which are being re-recorded to fit each scene.
The director said: “For whatever reason, he didn’t crack that US market.
“Inside the US, they will hopefully greet it the same way as when they met The Greatest Showman. They didn’t know those songs, and yet people fell in love with them and made them their own.
“I think it will be the same with Better Man. They will be meeting the music for the first time and it’ll be beautiful, because it will be in the context of the narrative of the film.”
The film is is due to start shooting this year, although the identity of who will play Robbie is being kept hush hush — with there even being a possibility he could play himself.
Michael teased: “As for how we represent Robbie in the film, that bit is top secret.
“I want to do this in a really original way. It’s this fantastical story and I want to represent it in its harsh reality all the way to these moments of pure fantasy.”
The biopic follows a string of blockbusters focused on superstars including Bohemian Rhapsody about Freddie Mercury and Rocketman about SIR Elton John.
Robbie, who has four kids with wife Ayda Field, has released a string of books documenting his rollercoaster journey as a pop star, but it was conversations with him which have inspired the script.
Michael said he spent several hours with Robbie at his mansion in Los Angeles talking about his life to make sure the story is spot on.
During his incredible career spanning more than 30 years, Stoke’s greatest showman has scored 17 No1 albums, toured the world and had his fair share of scandals.
If that doesn’t sound like the makings of an incredible film, I don’t know what does.
His reel story
WHAT I’m looking forward to seeing:
- Being kicked out of Take That
- Performances of his biggest hits
- His career revival after getting sober
Moments he may hope don’t make the cut:
- Noel Gallagher calling him “a fat dancer”
- Live streaming wife Ayda giving birth
- His infamous drink and drug sessions
Maya looks fib
MAYA Jama is looking stunning, no word of a lie.
The presenter showed off her fantastic figure in this blue suit jacket with matching shorts and heels backstage following an appearance on BBC1 comedy game show Would I Lie To You?.
Alongside the snap, Maya told her Instagram followers: “When you have three minutes to get a picture before the show starts. So much fun on Would I Lie To You?.”
She then teased fans by adding: “See how good a liar I am.”
Maya joined radio DJ Roman Kemp, After Life actress Roisin Conaty and telly doc Alexander Van Tulleken for Monday night’s episode, alongside team captains Lee Mack and David Mitchell.
She was tasked with convincing panellists she will only wash her face with sparkling water. Maya is always in sparkling form herself but even I can tell that’s a fib . . . isn’t it?
Ari’s swine phew
ARIANA Grande’s “emotional support pig”, which some believed was a micropig when she got it in 2018, has grown into a full-sized porker.
She shared this photo of the huge hog on her Instagram Story after fans asked what had happened to it.
Ariana is not the only celeb sharing their home with a huge swine, Miley Cyrus and Paris Hilton do too.
Ariana’s animal is called Piggy Smallz. Maybe she should rename it Notorious P.I.G.
Hail the GC
HAILEY Bieber appears to be taking style tips from Gemma Collins.
The model wife of pop star Justin wore this brown leather jacket with big shoulders along with matching trousers and handbag.
Her outfit had more than a hint of The GC’s shoulder-padded nod to an American Football shirt, which she wore to an ITV party in 2017.
Hailey was far away from Essex though, out with pal and fellow model Justine Skye in New York. Gemma Collins the trend setter – God help us all.
Kind Pete Dough-erty
I WOULDN’T have thought of Pete Doherty as someone you could rely on in times of crisis.
But the rocker proved to be an unlikely saviour to a widow left penniless by a vile Tinder scam.
The Libertines frontman was branded “a lifesaver” by his neighbour, 75-year-old retired nurse Marilyn, after he gave her cash when she was conned out of £43,000 by a man posing as a Finnish oil engineer.
Revealing Pete’s act of charity for the first time, Marilyn said: “I had run out of my own money. I was using credit cards to draw out cash and sending it.
“I wasn’t allowed to take anything out of the bank whatsoever, not even my pension, so I had nothing.
“[One day, Pete] looked up the road and started to walk towards me. He went, ‘How are you?’ and I just burst into tears.
Carey Cardi co-op
MARIAH Carey and Cardi B have agreed to collaborate on a song . . . and a line of bras.
Superstar Mariah told the rapper: “You’ve gotten less (money) than other artists who are not artists of colour, and yet your influence has been way broader. So let’s fix that.
"We’re going to do that, we’re going to do our bra line and, one of these days, can we do a song together?”
Cardi replied in the US: “I would love to do a record that touches souls. You had me heartbroken when I was 11 and I didn’t even have a boyfriend.”
“We got to his place. He asked me what was wrong and I told him. He said, ‘Hold on a second’, came back and went, ‘Here you go’.
“I said, ‘I can’t possibly take that, I don’t know you well enough for that’. He said, ‘I can see you’re distressed about all this, you take it’.”
Marilyn told today’s episode of BBC’s For Love Or Money, a consumer series focusing on online dating scams, that she and Pete have become friends for life, adding: “He’s a lovely guy and I know if anyone was in dire straits he would give you the shirt off his back.”
It makes a pleasant change to have something positive to write about the guy.
Billie Spots a cash stream
POP stars are always grumbling about how little they’re paid by streaming services for their music compared to old- fashioned CD sales – but a new list tells me they haven’t got too much to be sobbing about after all.
A league table pulled together by experts reveals how many streams Spotify’s big earners needed to pay off the price of their homes, with some earning enough from a single track to buy a mansion.
Not bad going for a day’s work down at the recording studio.
The astonishing figures from finance website Money.co.uk are likely to leave fans with little sympathy for young artists including Billie Eilish, Lewis Capaldi and Ariana Grande, who are all among the top earners.
The list reveals Billie pulled in £5.27million from one track alone, more than enough to cover the cost of her relatively modest US home, while Lewis raked in £2.4million just from hit Before You Go, which would also cover the cost of his £1.6million Scottish pile.
Sam Smith is understood to have made £12million from six tracks, Miley Cyrus cleared £8million from eight, and Lady Gaga’s 17 biggest hits generated £17million – enough to cover the price of her £16.5million property.
It certainly doesn’t leave me feeling like the music business is treating the stars too harshly.
Now, where did I put that guitar . . .
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