Former EAST 17 star TONY MORTIMER insists pop rival Robbie Williams would never have lasted in his boyband - because they were too hardcore.
The STAY ANOTHER DAY hitmaker, who will perform a comeback gig with his East 17 bandmates in London on 30 May (06), claims the group's outrageous rock 'n' roll lifestyle would have been too much for their tamer 1990s rivals Take That.
And he reveals his frantic years in the band had a severe effect on both his mental and physical health.
He says, "Robbie and the other Take That boys would not have lasted five minutes in East 17 - it was that full on we nearly didn't make it.
"We killed off boybands. But East 17 almost destroyed me.
"Three days of working seven days a week and not knowing where you are and what day it is takes its toll. At the end I was anorexic. I was over 6 foot tall and weighed nine stone but I didn't think I looked skinny.
"East 17 almost ruined me, which is why I kept saying no to reuniting.
"Towards the end I hid away after gigs and when the band split up I became really agoraphobic. If you walk out of the house every day and hundreds of people mob you it has a mental effect."