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Ed Sheeran Sees Himself in Robbie Williams


Ed Sheeran Sees Himself in Robbie Williams


It’s good to talk, and Ed Sheeran is realising the benefits of opening up after a tumultuous year writing his latest album, “Subtract”. The singer has just released a deeply personal track, “Eyes Closed”, about dealing with grief following the death of his best friend, Jamal Edwards, and has a new Disney+ docuseries titled “The Sum of it All” due to be released next month. But there is also one fellow popstar who he credits with helping him feel less alone: Robbie Williams.

Having recently spoken of his experiences with binge-eating and going to therapy, Sheeran, who is appearing on “The Jonathan Ross Show” on 1 April, says he saw himself in the “Angels” singer. “I watched Robbie Williams, he did a documentary, I remember watching it on TV and his rise to fame – obviously he was in Take That – but his solo career, I felt, was quite similar to me, in terms of trajectory and the venues he was doing and what the albums were doing and how big it got and how isolated it got, and how he had a problem with his weight, he had a problem with drugs, he had a problem with alcohol. I was watching this thing being like, ‘Oh man he’s gone through exactly what I’ve just gone through’,” Sheeran says.

Williams’s personal struggles have been well-documented, and Sheeran felt so connected to him that he reached out. “I emailed him and said, ‘Your documentary made me feel less isolated.’ And he was like, ‘Ironically that email just made me feel less isolated.’ It’s just good to talk about things.”

“I emailed him and said, ‘Your documentary made me feel less isolated.’ And he was like, ‘Ironically that email just made me feel less isolated.'”

The dad-of-two has since begun going to therapy once a week. “It was a bunch of stuff. My wife had a health scare complication and then Jamal died and then I went straight into a court case. Then I had another friend die while in the court case. I’ve always had ups and downs in my career. It’s the English thing isn’t it, ‘keep calm and carry on’. I feel like therapy in America is far more accepted, whereas here no-one really talks about it,” he says. “I felt ashamed even thinking about going to do it. We just had a really, really low three months and my wife talked me into going into therapy. I started doing it. It’s not like a button you press and you go, ‘I’m automatically ok’, but it definitely helps. But I would recommend if anyone’s having real lows. Just speaking to someone who is paid to hear you out and normalise it and be like, ‘It’s ok to think like that.'”

Now, Sheeran feels better equipped to manage his feelings and release his new, perhaps most vulnerable, album. “I feel like, this is the one thing about having adult stuff happen to you, is you realise that everyone else is going through exactly the same thing and I didn’t really talk to anyone about it. . . You never know what’s going on with someone.”

Making the most of life is important, and Sheeran goes on to tell Ross that he might even be tempted to take part in a certain reality show. “The one I would do is probably ‘I’m A Celebrity. . .’ It looks quite fun. Genuinely. It looks fun,” he says. “If I had time off, you go in a jungle with a bunch of people you sort of know. . . I’m not going to do it. . .I do like the idea of it.” Now that we’d like to see!

“The Jonathan Ross Show” airs on Saturday, 1 April at 9.40 pm on ITV1 and ITVX

Image Source: Getty / Andreas Rentz / Jamie McCarthy


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