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Robbie Williams wanted Britney Spears for 'Fairytale of New York' duet on new Christmas album

English musician Robbie Williams performs during the Russia World Cup opening ceremony. (Photo by Patrik STOLLARZ / AFP / Getty Images)

Robbie Williams is tackling some festive favourites for his new album, The Christmas Present, but Fairytale of New York didn't make it on to the record.

Williams, 45, wanted Britney Spears to duet with him but the pop star wasn't available to contribute her vocals on The Pogues' hit with Kirsty MacColl.

The Rock DJ singer told Vice: "I wanted to do it with Britney Spears, but she’s not working, unfortunately."

Read more: Robbie Williams 'so excited' about first ever Christmas album

Spears, 37, is currently taking time off from work to focus on herself and her family. Earlier this year she announced the hiatus as she revealed her planned Las Vegas residency had been cancelled.

Britney Spears arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Monday, July 22, 2019. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

However, other stars that did make it on the album, which also includes original tracks, include Jamie Cullum, Rod Stewart and Bryan Adams.

He's also got a surprise collaborator on track Bad Sharon in the form of Tyson Fury.

Speaking about how it came to be, Williams told Scott Mills: "I got my residency in Vegas and while I was out there, Tyson was fighting and he invited me to his dressing room before the – is it called a dressing room when you fight? I dunno – and he invited me to that before the fight.

"I was in there and just in that moment I was like 'I've seen you sing after bouts' and I asked him and he said yes."

Tyson Fury Celebrity sighting during the NFL game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams on October 27, 2019 at Wembley Stadium, London, England. (Photo by Ricky Swift/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Williams has said the album, set for release on 22 November, is not a "stopgap" considering he spent three years on it.

He explained: "I wouldn’t call it a stopgap, because you don’t spend three years writing a stop-gap, but it’s nice to take the pressure off.

"That said, I’ve put a lot of time and effort into getting it right."

The father-of-three's last album, The Heavy Entertainment Show, was released in 2016.