CREDITED with saving his life and quashing his demons, she is known as Robbie’s Angel.
But she would rather be known as Ayda Field, actress and star in her own right.
Ayda Field has been famous in her own right long before meeting husband Robbie Williams[/caption]
Ayda has landed the role of X Factor judge alongside Robbie[/caption]
It is her chance to prove to the UK at long last that she boasts as much charisma as he does — and to show off her wealth of showbiz experience.
Little annoys the 39-year-old from Los Angeles more than people referring to her merely as “Robbie’s wife”.
As a pal says: “Ayda has been famous for almost 20 years.
Her role as an X Factor judge is her chance to prove to the UK she boasts as much charisma as Robbie does[/caption]
Ayda hates being referred to as just ‘Robbie’s wife’[/caption]
“She was earning $1million a year aged 21 in the cult American soap opera Days Of Our Lives — that’s £770,000. She had her own success, fans and career.
“At one stage she had a far bigger profile Stateside than Robbie.
“It was only after marrying Rob that she took her foot off the gas and focused on them and starting a family.
“But for the past couple of years she’s been career focused again — and is inundated with offers.
“She is very much her own woman — feisty, funny and independent. She is much, much more than Rob’s missus.”
Indeed, Simon Cowell and ITV are banking on her quick wit and off-the-cuff sparring with the former Take That singer to reverse the show’s plummeting ratings.
Last year’s final drew just 4.4million viewers, down from 19.1million in 2009.
So a lot is riding on the new dynamic duo, who agreed a £7.8million deal to join the show after Robbie, 44, gave in to years of badgering from Cowell.
Ayda and Robbie agreed a £7.8million deal to join the judging panel[/caption]
Robbie and Ayda met on a blind date in 2006 and moved in together three years later[/caption]
The Stoke-born performer pulled no punches in negotiations, demanding unprecedented money and Ayda at his side.
He also made sure to wangle time off in November to complete his world tour, when Sharon Osbourne will fill in for him on the panel alongside Ayda, Simon, 58, and One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson, 26.
X Factor bosses are hoping the couple will bring new viewers from among the 1.6million fans who follow their daft video blogs and funny Instagram tales.
Robbie even live-blogged the birth of their second child in 2014 — posting a series of videos showing him serenading his poor, panting wife during her 12-hour labour.
Robbie and Ayda join One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson and Simon Cowell on the judging panel[/caption]
X Factor bosses are hoping the couple will bring new viewers from among the 1.6million fans who follow them on social media[/caption]
He kept reassuring fans, deadpan, that he was doing fine. When they left hospital, Ayda was filmed pushing “exhausted” Robbie in a wheelchair.
The couple have already won over studio audiences with their on (and off) air camaraderie this week.
They mocked each other in front of thousands of fans with jibes about sex toys and Robbie’s failure to crack America.
A studio source added: “Ayda is funny and has an extremely quick wit.
Ayda is also a panellist on daytime talk show Loose Women[/caption]
The couple has two children together, daughter Theodora, affectionally known as Teddy and son Charlton[/caption]
“Unlike most Americans she also understands sarcasm and her chemistry with Rob is natural and makes for great viewing.
“They’re both excellent raconteurs and the hope is viewers will be watching as much for these two as the contestants.
Feedback from the opening days of auditions in Wembley has been almost entirely positive — she’s already proving a great addition.”
Ayda, who appeared in C4 comedy Fresh Meat and is also a regular panellist on ITV’s Loose Women, has already had to defend her big-money signing.
Feedback on Ayda from the opening days of auditions in Wembley has been almost entirely positive[/caption]
She insisted her years as a jobbing actress before landing her role as mob boss’s daughter Angela Moroni in the US daytime soap stand her in good stead for the music talent contest.
At the show launch on Tuesday, she said: “For me, on a professional level, I’ve auditioned for years.
“I know what it’s like to have the stakes high, to put it all out there.
“I know what it’s like to get the job — I also know what it’s like to lose the job.
Ayda says her years as a jobbing actress will help her as an X Factor judge[/caption]
“Being with Rob for 12 years, I’ve been every step of the way with him. I have a huge amount of empathy for the process.
“I know what it takes from creating the songs to promoting, to live shows. It’s a very emotional process.
“I’m excited to be that rock and that stability and that guidance for my group.
“And to help some people out, help them achieve their dreams. I’m really excited about that.”
Online fans may just be sorry the panel is not getting the other key member of the family’s viral antics — Ayda’s 70-year-old mother Gwen.
The former movie producer lives with the couple in both their LA and London homes, and is very much the (welcomed) third wheel in their marriage.
Gwen goes almost everywhere with the couple, even on romantic Caribbean holidays, and there has been talk of the trio landing their own TV series.
Silly videos of escapades such as giving Gwen a dodgy hairdo far outnumber the sorts of “wellness” boasts and yoga poses that clog some other online stars’ pages.
Ayda’s 70-year-old mother Gwe lives with the couple in both their LA and London mansions[/caption]
But Ayda is a huge fitness fan too, eating a mostly plant-based diet and working out for between seven and nine hours a week.
The couple have state-of-the-art gyms at both their London and Los Angeles homes, but Ayda is also a devotee of Barry’s Bootcamp classes.
Adored by David Beckham, Kim Kardashian and Harry Styles, these are notoriously hardcore 60-minute workouts alternating between treadmill sprints, hill climbs and free weights.
Participants can burn up to 1,000 calories per class — and people have been known to vomit during sessions. Naturally, poor Gwen gets dragged along too.
When Robbie met Ayda he was still struggling with addiction[/caption]
It is a very different lifestyle from the one Robbie was living when he first met his soulmate.
Weeks later he dumped Ayda and checked back into rehab. But after he got clean they reunited. They moved in together in 2009.
They married the following year in the grounds of their Beverly Hills mansion, with their eight dogs as bridesmaids and page boys.
Robbie calls Ayda his ‘rock’ and said she made him ‘a better person’[/caption]
In the intervening years their relationship has gone from strength to strength, and today they are one of the most solid couples in showbiz.
Robbie calls Ayda his “rock”, and recently said: “She makes me want to be a better person. And in the process, I have become a better person.”
Worth a combined £160million, the pair remain determinedly down-to-earth, and are extremely hands-on with daughter Teddy, five, and son Charlton, three.
Ayda, who studied law and accountancy at university, does the school run every day.
The couple are worth a combined £160million but have stayed down-to-earth[/caption]
But home life is not always perfect, due to a five-year spat with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, their next-door neighbour in Kensington, West London.
According to friends, the guitarist, 74, has made the family’s life “hell” by going all-out to block their various plans to extend the property, including excavations to install an underground swimming pool.
Jimmy claims the work on their mansion, which they bought for £17million in 2013, will damage his own Grade I-listed home.
Publicly Ayda and Robbie have maintained a dignified silence. But privately the pair are determined to have the last laugh.
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A friend explained: “Jimmy is utterly obsessed with Rob and Ayda, and the house. He’s made their life pretty hellish.
“But it’s become so ridiculous now that they can’t help but laugh at the situation — otherwise they’d probably cry.
“They have even joked that they should change their wifi name to Stairway To Heaven to really wind Jimmy up.”