This week's dig at Liam's marriage to Nicole Appleton was just the latest in a long line of attempts by Williams to antagonise the Gallagher brothers. We recall five of the best.
"Would anybody like to see me fight Liam?" taunted Robbie Williams at 2000's Brits, back when Rudebox and an obsession with UFOs were both inconceivable prospects for the singer. While it never amounted to fisticuffs, this lairy threat has been repeated in different forms at regular intervals throughout the past 13 years of Williams's career, depleting slightly in its extremity as each album campaign gets churned out. This week, for example, the former Take That singer criticised Liam's relationship with wife Nicole Appleton, amid claims the Oasis singer had an affair.
Their relationship hasn't always been so antsy, however. In 1995, when Williams walked out on his boyband, he bounded into Liam's rock'n'roll life with ease – because although he had once writhed around in jelly, he also had a rebellious side with a penchant for Adidas jackets, booze, birds and fags. He was briefly allowed to roam wild in the Britpop world, where he so desperately wanted to belong. And for a while, it was magical. Liam and Robbie played charity football together, spent a lost weekend causing trouble at Glastonbury, and even shared the same stage, with Williams swaggering and sneering circles around Liam like a bloated Bez.
But the romance didn't last long, souring when big brother Noel put an end to their antics. Like a jealous child who wanted his toy back, Noel declared that Williams was a just a "fat dancer from Take That" – from which point Liam, it appeared, was not allowed to come out to play.
Thankfully, Williams met with the warm, welcoming arms of Guy Chambers. But he would never forget. Here's a rundown of some of his best attacks on the Gallagher brothers.
Robbie at the Brit Awards
Choosing a very public sphere to air his grievances, Williams took to the stage to propose a challenge. "Would you pay to come and see it? Liam, a hundred grand of your money and a hundred grand of my money, we'll get in the ring, we'll have a fight and you can all watch it on TV," he said with the arrogance of someone who had not only just won an award, but was also making a threat to an opponent who wasn't actually in the country at the time. A few months later at the Q awards, Liam and Robbie came face to face. "This one's for Robbie," said Liam, holding his award. "He understands the letter Q."
Robbie at Knebworth
Following Oasis' triumph at Knebworth in 1996, Williams decided he'd knock them off the top spot, selling out three nights as opposed to their two. After confirming the live stint, Williams allegedly sent Noel a pair of tap dancing shoes with a message reading: "Dear Mr N Gallagher, you said two nights at Knebworth is history. Well, I guess three is just greedy. Yours, Rob. PS: Finding it difficult to find adequate support for my show. What are you doing on the 1st and 2nd? Oh, and the 3rd?"
Robbie with Nicole
No juvenile feud between two highly competitive heterosexual men would be right without a girl involved, would it? In the late 90s, Williams and Appleton got engaged. They split in 2000, and a year later she began dating Liam. In this 2010 clip, the former All Saints singer, joined by Melanie Blatt, attempts to interview Williams backstage at the Brits. The tension is nauseatingly palpable, as Williams holds her close and reminisces about the past, commenting, "I see you don't change your perfume". Shortly after the interview Liam collected an award on stage, but threw the microphone and the award into the audience, and reportedly pushed over a female staff member.
Take That at Wembley
With a newly pumped ego spurred on by the grand Take That reunion, Williams performed at London's Wembley Stadium and took the opportunity to gloat at beating Oasis' run at the venue. "Noel Gallagher, you can kiss my perfectly formed backside," he grinned to a sea of squealing fans. The dance at the end is unnecessary.
Robbie on Beady Eye
Earlier this year, Liam called Williams a "fat fucking idiot" during a rant about the singer. Williams responded with a calm and conceited dissection of Liam's career with Beady Eye. He told the Sun: "The production is really good. There are a couple of tunes that would have been fucking amazing if they had a chorus. Flick of the Finger, nearly a great tune. Start Anew, if that had a chorus – but there is no chorus." Source: www.guardian.co.uk