Robbie Williams on the joke that left him thinking “I don’t think Twitter is for me”

Robbie Williams has recalled the occasion where a badly-received joke on X/Twitter made him reconsider his use of the platform.

The singer was speaking to Joe Lycett for an interview in The Guardian, in which spoke about their mutual love of art. They got on to talking about Twitter and Williams was asked if he still has an account.

“It would ruin my career. The last time I was on it, I did a tweet that said: ‘I quite fancy getting into shoplifting. Has anyone got any good suggestions for shoplifting?’

“The person who runs Gail’s, the bakery, said: ‘This is awful. This is a pop star who lives in a bubble. How dare he?’


“I saw the backlash, and I was, like: “I don’t think Twitter is for me.” I got my fingers burned.”

The aforementioned owner of Gail’s, Luke Johnson, called Williams’ post a “very poor taste joke” in a statement to the Daily Mail in October last year.

Robbie Williams
Robbie Williams. Credit: Tim Whitby/Getty

“Shop staff are facing a huge increase in crime and violence. A vastly rich ex-pop star mocking a serious social and economic problem shows a celebrity truly lost in showbiz,” Johnson said [via The Independent].

Earlier this month, Williams made headlines when he praised The 1975‘s Matty Healy. In a social media post, Williams noted that he was “lamenting the death of friction, danger, personality”, while calling the music scene “boring”, but clarifying that he’s “not attacking the music itself”.

Williams went on to state that he understands why everyone’s being safe: “I get it everyone’s scared. No one knows what you’ll say that will get you cancelled. No one knows what you’ve already said or written that will end you. So many people to offend.”

With this in mind, he’s hailed Matty Healy as “the only commercially viable Pop/Rock star that I can see who is willing to be something other than beige”.


Williams wrote: “I really like Matt he’s unhinged, super smart, super talented and willing to upset. Upsetting for a cause. The cause being a complicated inner life a rebellious streak and boredom.”