Looking forward to entertaining South

Pop superstar Robbie Williams still enjoys visiting new places, well into his third decade as a performer.

Speaking in Auckland yesterday, Williams was surprised to learn he will play the southernmost show of his long career when he visits Dunedin this weekend.

The former member of British boy band Take That, and successful solo performer, was looking forward to Saturday's show at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Robbie Williams Photo: Reuters
Robbie Williams. Photo: Reuters

''I haven't been down there,'' he said.

''It will be an honour to play in a place I've never played before and have an audience come out and see me.''

Auckland and Dunedin audiences are seeing Williams at the tail-end of his long ''Heavy Entertainment Show'' tour, which began in England in June 2017.

Suffering from serious back problems at the start of the tour, the singer doubted he would be able to complete last year's extensive European leg.

Ultimately, he performed to more than a million fans, and said he was now looking after himself better.

''I'm in a better place because physically I'm better,'' he said.

''I'm really looking forward to getting into these shows and finishing this tour with gusto ...

''I love my job and I want to be able to do it for a long time.''

Raised in Stoke-on-Trent, Williams joined Take That as a 16-year-old in 1990.

The band enjoyed a rapid rise to fame, selling millions of records following No1 singles including Back For Good and Everything Changes.

Leaving Take That in 1995, Williams became the best-selling British solo artist in the United Kingdom, and has achieved more than 77million record sales worldwide.

Singles such as Millennium, Rock DJ, Angels, and Let Me Entertain You remain staples of his energetic shows.

''I get up and I sing and I entertain,

but the songs are always the songs.

''They've become part of the fabric of people's lives.

''I'm just lucky to have them in my armoury, and to still get to come down here and sing them to people.''

Now a married father of two and living in Los Angeles, Williams said he had left behind the life of pop star excess.

He said he would be celebrating his 44th birthday in Auckland yesterday by playing the Fifa video game with his band, ''going into the night with Fifa fingers, and not with powdered noses, like in 1999.''

This is Williams' fourth visit to New Zealand.

Having had three No1 albums and three No1 singles here, he admitted that he loves the country.

''Back in the day, New Zealand was my biggest territory per head of capita ... I remember that stat,'' Williams said.

''And if you love me, I love you. So here I am.''

-By Gavin Bertram

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