On this blog we're big fans of stories concerning irrational turns taken by major celebrities, be they YouTube videos of Tom Cruise (they're in the public domain, okay) or stories of Madonna telling a Vanity Fair reporter that our souls choose the gender of our children.
So imagine our delight when it turned out that fading pop superstar Robbie Williams has retreated into the world of alien conspiracies. The Sun recently caught up with Robbie at a UFO convention in Nevada, where he confirmed "his belief that UFOs are 'there all the time' but only show themselves on Earth when they make mistakes and their 'protective shields' come off".
Sporting a new look that may disappoint his female fans (think an overweight Fidel Castro) Robbie meets a mother who claims her son is regularly abducted by aliens, and who believes he is "an 'Indigo Child', who has been put on Earth as a psychic sage. She's taken photographs of him being abducted, but they never come out "because she is not a very good photographer and only owns a disposable camera".
It turns out Robbie's always had an interest in the paranormal, telling the Sun that “Mum was a tarot card reader. On the shelf just outside her room there would be the books about the world’s mysteries — elves, demons and witchcraft. She’d have people round to read the tarot cards and read their palms. She’d talk about spirits, ghosts . . . the other side. I was that scared that I never talked to her about it and just lived in fear of this stuff.”
He says he's tried visiting psychics in the past but has always found them to be "charlatans" and now he's hoping the same won't happen with his interest in UFOs. For the moment he's happy to spend "hours holed up in his LA mansion researching UFOs on the net and watching DVDs about alien conspiracies".
Robbie's not the first celebrity to develop an obsession with alien conspiracies (Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters star Dan Ackroyd believes alien/human hybrids might be walking among us) and, as our exclusive graph reveals, there seems to be a correlation between fame and increased irrationality. But then again, they might be the rational ones...
Tune into Radio 4 tonight at 6.30pm, when Robbie Williams will be talking to Jon Ronson about his interest in UFOs.