Sarah Harding has recalled a missed opportunity to potentially date Robbie Williams after bonding over their ‘struggles’ with fame.
The Girls Aloud singer opens up about the first time she met the former Take That star at the 2003 Brit Awards in her new autobiography Hear Me Out, released on Thursday.
With much in common, the pop stars hit off immediately and Sarah, 39, recalls feeling a ‘real connection’ with Robbie.
The singers bonded over their experience in the music industry and also the ‘struggles’ that come with the sharp rise to fame.
According to an extract obtained exclusively to Metro.co.uk, Robbie, 47, asked for Sarah’s phone number before they happened to meet again at a recording of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.
However, it wasn’t to be and ended up being a missed opportunity for both pop stars to at least develop a friendship. Still, Sarah clearly has fond memories of her fleeting moments with the Angels hitmaker.
Also in Hear Me Out, Sarah opens up about her devastating health battle after being diagnosed with breast cancer, which has advanced to other parts of her body.
The Promise singer writes: ‘I’m trying to live and enjoy every second of my life, however long it might be. I am having a glass of wine or two during all this, because it helps me relax.
‘I’m sure some people might think that’s not a great idea, but I want to try to enjoy myself.
‘I’m at a stage now where I don’t know how many months I have left. Who knows, maybe I’ll surprise everyone, but that’s how I’m looking at things.’
The singer’s Girls Aloud bandmate Cheryl has contributed to the memoir, sharing how she’s coped with Sarah’s ordeal.
When Sarah met Robbie…
Sarah Harding opens up about Robbie Williams ‘connection’
After our very first trip to the Brit Awards, in 2003, we were invited to the Universal Music after-party. It was there I got chatting to Robbie Williams, who’d just won the best British male solo artist award. We got on really well; in fact, I felt a real connection between us. During our chat, I asked him how he dealt with the pressure of fame and celebrity, explaining how I was struggling a bit. He admitted to me that he also found it challenging and overwhelming sometimes. We spent a lovely time together, and I liked him, but I didn’t think anything else of it.
A week or so later, I got a call from one of our TV team at Polydor. ‘My friend Robbie wants your number,’ he said. ‘Who’s your friend Robbie?’ I answered. ‘You know, Robbie.’ ‘Robbie who?’ ‘Who do you think?’ he said. ‘You were talking to him for ages at the Universal do.’ ‘F**k off,’ I said. ‘Robbie Williams?’ Wow!
I mean, I hadn’t even been in the band that long – only a few months, in fact – and here was one of the world’s biggest music stars asking for my number. This, however, was at a time when I was on/off/on/off with Mikey; at that point, we were in an ‘on’ period. As tempted as I might have been, I knew I couldn’t respond to Robbie; it just wouldn’t have been fair. So I just let it go, flattered that Robbie had at least been interested enough to ask his mate for my number.
Not long after that, we were performing on Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. Robbie turned up at the ITV studios, even though he wasn’t a guest on the show that week. I was surprised, to say the least, especially when he came upstairs to the dressing rooms to say hello. I even remember him trying to wangle a few minutes alone to talk to me. The rest of the girls were so excited that he’d come for a visit so it was hard to even get a look in. It’s funny, when I’d been on my own with him at the Universal party, I’d felt utterly relaxed, but with the other girls in the mix, I’d reverted to feeling like an ugly duckling. So unconfident.
After the show, Robbie went out to a nightclub with Kimberley and some of our dancers, but for some reason I didn’t get wind of it and missed out. When I’d asked our TV promoter, Robbie’s pal, what Robbie had been doing at the studios that night when he wasn’t part of the show, he’d replied, ‘Sarah! What do you think he was doing there?’ I regret missing out that night. I liked Robbie very much, and I’d have liked to have got to know him better then, even just as a friend.
Mind you, can you imagine what might have happened if I had got together with him, given both of our histories? What a couple we’d have been, tearing around town! Perhaps it was for the best, after all. Although I sometimes think I’d like to rewind, just to see what might have been.
Hear Me Out by Sarah Harding is published on March 18 (Ebury Press, £20 hardback plus ebook and audio).