Robbie Williams grimaces as he uses hand sanitiser after joining hands with public for Auld Lang Syne

Robbie Williams in concert at St John at Hackney Church, London, UK - 14 Dec 2016
(Image credit: Adam Holt/REX/Shutterstock)

Robbie Williams sparked a bemused reaction when he used hand sanitiser after touching hands with members of the public during his Robbie Rocks Big Ben Live show on BBC1

Robbie Williams' performance on BBC1 last night has been overshadowed by his reaction to touching the hands of the general public...

Robbie was performing at the Westminster Central Hall on BBC1's Robbie Rock Big Ben Live when he high-fived members of the audience then held hands for a rendition of Auld Lang Syne, but then grimaced as he cleaned his hands with anti-bacterial lotion.

The reaction on social media was instantaneous and suitably humourous...

US-based journalist Graeme Demianyk posted on twitter: “Robbie Williams and the anti-bac has already defined 2017.”

Luke Johnston said: “Robbie Williams pulling out the hand gel after doing Auld Lang Syne with the public has been my highlight of 2017 so far.”

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Others were very quick to chime in with their own jokes...

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Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.