Robbie Williams almost died after contracting mercury poisoning from eating too much fish.
The 46-year-old singer has admitted he once went on a diet which saw him eat seafood including octopus, squid and tuna every single day, but the diet caused dangerous levels of mercury to build up in his bloodstream.
Excess levels of mercury can cause skin cancer and lead to lung diseases, and Robbie has joked he still considers his brush with death to be a “win”, as he likened the mercury in his system to the coveted Mercury Prize.
He said: “I was eating fish twice a day and I’ve got the highest mercury poisoning the doctor has ever seen.
“Do you know what I thought when I heard that? ‘I’ve won!’ That’s how my ego works, ‘I’ve got the highest … did you say the highest? Thank you.’ I literally won the mercury award.”
The ‘Feel’ hitmaker only decided to have a blood test – which revealed the high levels of mercury – on the advice of his wife Ayda, but is thankful he did, because he could have “dropped dead” if he’d continued his dangerous diet.
He added: “I got my mercury tested because my wife’s neurotic and she gets all sorts of tests all the time.
“Anyway, thank God, coz I could’ve dropped dead of mercury and arsenic poisoning.”
Now, Robbie has turned to a vegan diet to avoid the dangers that other foods can have on the human body.
He told Radio X: “I went plant-based the next day.”
People are exposed to methylmercury when eating large amounts of fish and shellfish – in particular tuna, swordfish, king mackerel and marlin – and mercury poisoning kills thousands of people around the world every year.