Members of boy bands have historically never been able to present any image other than one of extreme health, hygiene and togetherness. In a way, it's quite a Faustian trade-off. A name is signed on a letter-headed piece of paper from one of the big management companies – where, it can be presupposed, everything from skin-care regimes, apologetic coiffures and the authenticity of a personality are placed in control of suited moneymen – and in return some innocent lad from a market town or a bakery is promised access to unrivalled riches, first-class air travel, unlimited glass bottles of sparkling water and international fame.
From Westlife to Boyzone to JLS to One Direction, Britain's most popular boy band members have rarely strayed too far from a script that adheres to complete and utter wholesomeness in the eyes of the common high-street consumer.
Thus, Robbie Williams sits in a league of his own. Like those aforementioned pop stars, he too has enjoyed placing his buttocks on the comforting leather of a private jet and amassed a fortune to the sum of £145 million, but he's done so in a way that's refused to play by the rules of how record labels expect their pop stars to act. He once released an (admittedly unforgivingly bad) song called "Dickhead"; another time he trundled around Glastonbury with a haircut that can only be best described as a substance-fuelled reinterpretation of Sick Boy in Trainspotting while also missing one of his front teeth.