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‘I couldn’t believe it’: Norwich woman on her surprise Robbie Williams duet

PUBLISHED: 17:28 09 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:42 10 December 2019

Julie Starling in the lobby at Alexandra Palace before the show. Picture: Julie Starling.

Julie Starling in the lobby at Alexandra Palace before the show. Picture: Julie Starling.

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Going to see your favourite music star in concert is a special thing in itself, but one Norfolk woman had a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience when she was invited on stage by Robbie Williams.

Julie Starling on stage with Robbie Williams during his performance of Somethin' Stupid at Alexandra Palace. Picture: ITV.Julie Starling on stage with Robbie Williams during his performance of Somethin' Stupid at Alexandra Palace. Picture: ITV.

Julie Starling, 43, from Norwich, was thrilled when she and her sister-in-law won tickets to the star's Christmas show, which was broadcast on ITV on Sunday night, but couldn't have predicted just how memorable the evening would turn out to be.

The Take That star decided to pull a member of the audience up on stage while he sang Somethin' Stupid, his 2001 hit with actress Nicole Kidman, and Miss Starling was "in shock" when she was chosen.

She said: "He gets women up on each of his shows, but because it was his Christmas show I didn't think he would have that part involved.

"So when he pointed to me I was in shock. I couldn't believe it - those things just don't happen to me."

Robbie Williams serenades Julie Starling on stage. Picture: ITV.Robbie Williams serenades Julie Starling on stage. Picture: ITV.

Her moment was broadcast to millions on ITV and the prospect of doing that along with being on stage with a musical icon would be enough to unnerve most, but Miss Starling wasn't fazed.

She said: "I knew it was Robbie and that the audience was there, but it felt like it could have been me just singing karaoke with my brother and having a good time, he makes you feel that relaxed.

"I was just living in the moment. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing and I was determined to just make the most of it."

MORE: 'Julie from Norfolk' gets starring role in Robbie Williams' Christmas show

The reaction to her appearance has been largely greeting with positive messages on social media, but there were some who were critical of how close she was getting to the star.

Julie Starling attended the show with her sister-in-law. Picture: Julie Starling.Julie Starling attended the show with her sister-in-law. Picture: Julie Starling.

"For the main part it's been really good, but there was that negative that took away the excitement of my moment.

"There were some horrendous comments, but I don't see the need for people to comment on things. If you've got nothing positive to say then just don't say anything."

One of Williams' biggest fan groups, RWFanFest, tweeted their support for Miss Starling and then the singer himself described has as an "absolute star" and the "highlight of the show".

Miss Starling said: "I think he was trying to stick up for me.

Julie Starling described getting on stage with Robbie Williams as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Picture: ITV.Julie Starling described getting on stage with Robbie Williams as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Picture: ITV.

"There were plenty of segments throughout the show where he was able to stop filming and restart if he wasn't happy with stuff, but during my moment he didn't do that. That confirms to me that he was fine with it and it was all just the good laugh it was meant to be.

"With the amount of stars that were on there, like David Walliams and Jamie Cullum, I can't believe I was the star of the show. It was very kind of him to say so."

The superfan, who "can't even count" how many times she has seen Williams live in concert, will watch him again at another Christmas party gig at Wembley on December 16, but doesn't expect to get so lucky again.

"It'll still be great though," she said.

'Julie from Norfolk' on stage with singer Robbie Williams. Picture: Simon Niblett/Farrell Music.'Julie from Norfolk' on stage with singer Robbie Williams. Picture: Simon Niblett/Farrell Music.

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