Robbie Williams on His World Cup Middle Finger: ‘I Cannot Trust Me’

Pop star also says talks, but no deal to be a judge on ‘The X Factor’

Robbie Williams
William Volcov/REX/Shutterstock

Robbie Williams stopped short of apologizing for giving the middle finger during his World Cup opening ceremony performance, but said Tuesday that the gesture was not planned.

Fox issued an apology after the incident, which happened last Thursday during the World Cup curtain-raiser at the Luzhniki Stadium. The footage was on Fox and went viral on Twitter, although it was not part of ITV’s coverage in the U.K., as the broadcaster had switched back to the studio.

“I thought to myself it would be really important at these kind of things to not cause an international incident – and do you know what, I managed it,” Williams told ITV’s “This Morning.”

He went on to joke that he was giving fans a one-minute countdown to the kickoff of the first game between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Asked if he regretted the incident in the immediate aftermath, Williams said: “Yeah, of course. I can’t trust me, I cannot trust me…I don’t know what I’m going to do at any time.”

He added: “The plan was sing in key, don’t fall over. That was the plan, and 99% of the plan I pulled off.”

The former Take That member has been tipped to take a judge’s seat on the upcoming series of “The X Factor” in the U.K. He said that “a lot of me would love to do it” and “people are talking but there’s nothing signed.”

Williams added he would like to be part of a Take That reunion in 2019, the band’s 25th anniversary. “I’m up for it, but I don’t know what their calendars say, what my calendar says. We’d all love to do it. I’d love Jason [Orange] back involved…If we could get Jay back, it would be perfect.”