New father Robbie Williams has admitted that he envies the new boy-band in town, One Direction. The singer, 38 - who has been performing a number of low-key solo gigs across the UK - told Radio 1 that he wishes he was in the young group’s shoes as they continue to take the pop world by storm.

Though Williams has had his fair share of hits, and made his fair share of money, he explained to DJ Greg James, “I'm jealous of them and I wish I was doing it all with them…I've met all the boys, but it was a long time ago. I am quoted as saying, 'Robbie Williams slammed One Direction. Robbie Williams had a go at One Direction'. I really didn't - I love the boys.” The Take That star, whose brand of on-stage bravado has probably influenced the One Direction lads, added, “I'm looking forward to seeing where the road takes them for many years to come I hope. They do perform like they've never met each other and there's a certain charm to that too. It's brilliant.”

We can’t imagine Robbie is pining too much for the pop-star touring schedules, having become a father for the first time. His wife Ayda Field gave birth to Theodora Rose (affectionately known as Teddy) in London last week.