Robbie Williams: 'I was jealous of Gary… he was a brilliant judge!'

Robbie Williams, Ayda Field and Louis Tomlinson join X Factor judging panel

After being unveiled as a judge on this year's X Factor, Robbie Williams has admitted he had an attack of the green-eyed monster when his former Take That bandmate Gary Barlow was on the panel...

Robbie Williams has admitted he was "jealous" of Gary Barlow's tenure as judge on The X Factor and will certainly be asking for his advice after taking up his own seat on this year's panel.

Robbie's Take That pal Gary was a judge on The X Factor for three series from 2011 to 2013.

Prior to the Angels hitmaker officially being announced as a judge at a press conference on Tuesday – alongside his wife Ayda Williams, 1D star Louis Tomlinson and, of course, music mogul Simon Cowell – Gary is reported to have offered his former bandmate some advice.

Gary told The Sun: "It's going to be great, but I know what's to come with that show. I know what it does to you. He's got some hard work ahead, that's for sure. I've told him it's a lot of hours – more than people realise. It's tiring."

At the press conference, Robbie told that he'll definitely be calling upon Gary for judging tips.

"I've read in the newspapers a few things that he's said. I emailed him this morning, and he just sent me his best wishes. I'll know what questions to ask him as of tomorrow, because the audition process starts tomorrow.

"So if there's anybody's ear that I'm going to be bending, it'll be Gary's. Also David Walliams, who's a mate of mine, I'll be bending his ear too. But we don't really know what we're in for."

Robbie hailed Gary 'an excellent judge' and openly admitted he'd been envious of Gary's time on the show.

"When Gary was on the show I was jealous," Robbie said. "Then when I saw him do incredibly well, I was even more jealous!"

Gary has since Tweeted his support for Robbie: "Good luck @robbiewilliams we're all behind you," but he cheekily added: "I want Ayda to win though lol."

Simon Cowell told reporters he’d "tried to get Robbie on every show for 18 years" and it’s believed that Robbie and wife Ayda are thought to have landed a £10million deal to appear on the show’s 15th series.

Robbie revealed: "I've wanted to do this show for a long time, it's never been right until now."

When Robbie was then asked why he’d decided to join the panel now, after previously turning down the role, he joked: “Millions, there are literally millions of reasons to be on this panel for this season.”

The X Factor 2018 auditions kick off on Wednesday July 18 at the SSE Wembley Arena in London.

Victoria Wilson
Feature Writer for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and

With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!