Robbie Williams’ best pal Jonathan Wilkes in profile – links to Ant and Dec, co-founder of Soccer Aid and a mammoth £8m net worth

Jonathan has had quite a busy career!

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While some may know him as the close friend of singer Robbie Williams, Jonathan Wilkes has made his mark in various fields over the past two decades.

Whether it’s singing, acting or sports, Jonathan has proved time and time again that he is no one-trick-pony.

So, as the Robbie Williams documentary drops on Netflix, here’s all we know about his best pal Jonathan Wilkes…

Robbie Williams smiling in a bow tie
Robbie Williams is best pals with Jonathan Wilkes (Credit: Splash News)

How old is Jonathan Wilkes?

Jonathan is currently 45 years old. He was born in Baddeley Green, Stoke-on-Trent. However, he spent the majority of his childhood in Packmoor with his mum, dad and older sister, Kay. His father died at the age of 58.

“We lived on an estate and I had nice friends — I learned more on the streets than I did at school,” Jonathan told Staffordshire Life in 2013.

Is Jonathan Wilkes married?

He is. Jonathan Wilkes has been married to Nikki Wheeler since 2004. While working as a presenter for the BBC, he met his future wife.

We lived on an estate and I had nice friends — I learned more on the streets than I did at school.

Does Jonathan Wilkes have any kids?

Jonathan has two children. Two years after getting married to Nikki, the pair welcomed their first son, Mickey, in 2006.

In 2017, they had another son named Ralph.

Did Jonathan Wilkes play football professionally?

Jonathan attended Holden Lane School and described himself as “sports-mad”. At age seven, he signed for Port Vale and then later for Everton when he was a teenager.

That said, his career in football was short-lived. “I didn’t concentrate a lot at school — I was known as the class clown — funny that isn’t it?! School was more about having a laugh for me and waiting till I could get home and play football. I thought I didn’t need to study because I was going to be a footballer,” he recalled.

“But then at 16, I wanted to go out with my mates, chase girls and didn’t want to go to training. I lost my heart and confidence in football. I was dropped by Everton because of my attitude.”

Jonathan Wilkes and Paddy McGuinness playing football for Soccer Aid
Jonathan playing football for Soccer Aid with Paddy McGuinness (Credit:

What work is Jonathan Wilkes known for?

Outside of being close friends with Robbie Williams, Jonathan is known for a lot of work in television and acting.

During his time as a performer in Blackpool, Jonathan was approached by Kevin Bishop to be a young presenter for the BBC and later hosted You’ve Been Framed!.

In 2001, Jonathan attempted a music career and released his debut single, Just Another Day, in 2001. Peaking at number 24 in the charts, his record label, Virgin Records, was disappointed in the sales and dropped him, per NME.

“I didn’t like being a pop star with a record album out, though. I’m not cool enough,” he explained in 2013.

In the West End, Jonathan has appeared in musicals such as The Rocky Horror Show, Grease, We Will Rock You and Chicago.

What is Jonathan Wilkes up to now?

Jonathan is the owner of the academy, Wilkes Academy, which offers BTEC and Degree level courses in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre. In September, Wilkes Academy celebrated its 10th anniversary. The likes of Ant and Dec, Arlene Phillips and Robbie Williams are patrons.

Jonathan has remained a performer and is a regular at the Regent Theatre Stoke as a panto star. This festive season, he will star in Jack and the Beanstalk.

He is also the co-founder of Soccer Aid, a British annual charity event that raises money for UNICEF UK.

Is Jonathan Wilkes still friends with Robbie Williams?

Since forming a friendship from childhood, Jonathan and Robbie are still friends to this day.

In Robbie’s Netflix documentary, Robbie Williams, the Feel hitmaker referred to Jonathan as his “moving, walking, talking part of Stoke-on-Trent”.

While sharing archive footage from throughout Robbie’s extensive career, their close bond is highlighted.

When Jonathan was 20, he moved to London to live with Robbie in his mansion while working at the BBC.

“I can’t help who my best mate is — and I’m proud to death of him — he’s been my best mate all my life,” he said about their friendship in 2013.

“I’ll always be associated with Robbie in the same way that he’ll always be associated with Take That. It’s just one of those things.”

In 2001, Jonathan joined Robbie on stage at the Royal Albert Hall to perform Me And My Shadow.

Jonathan Wilkes and Robbie Williams at the Lowry hotel in Manchester
Jonathan and Robbie are still good friends today (Credit:

What is Jonathan’s net worth?

As of 2023, Jonathan is reportedly worth an impressive $10 million (£8.1 million), according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Read more: Geri Horner split and Gary Barlow feud – 5 revelations from Robbie Williams Netflix documentary

Robbie Williams is airing on Netflix now.

Robbie Williams | Me And My Shadow (Live At The Albert 2001)

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Fabio Magnocavallo
Freelance Writer