British pop star Robbie Williams has hailed his former group Take That as the best boyband ever - insisting their live shows were on a par with Madonna's.

The TRIPPING hitmaker, who launched his solo career after leaving the band in 1995, has branded subsequent all-male groups "lazy" and claims none of them have come close to matching the energetic stage performances of the NEVER FORGET stars.

He says, "I don't think there's been a boyband as good as us for entertainment and for songs ever since - and you would be hard pressed to find one before too.

"I'm not talking about THE BEATLES - they're not a boy band - I'm talking about your archetypal 4/5 lads on stage singing and dancing.

"New Kids On The Block were great and N*SYNC weren't too bad, but for a live show? Our shows were as good as a Madonna show I think.

"Boy bands are f**gging lazy these days. Ballad, stand, ballad, stand, when I see it, it annoys me because I know how hard we worked.

"We were, and are, the best boy band that's ever been."