Ex-Take That star Robbie Williams was too messed up to offer advice to Zayn Malik after reaching out when he quit One Direction.

Zayn rose to fame in the boyband after they were formed on the 2010 series of The X Factor U.K., but left in 2015 because of a desire to be a "normal 22 year old".

Speaking to GQ Hype, Robbie, who also quit his group during the height of their fame in the '90s, revealed Zayn's people reached out to him in an effort to have him offer the young star advice, but he felt unable to do so.

"I was thinking, 'Help? But I'm f**ked too.' I didn't want to f**king phone the kid and tell him there's no hope," Robbie said. "You don't want me on that phone call! 'Hey, I know you're only 24 right now, but it can only get worse' It is going to get f**king worse.

"I'd take that phone call now. Yeah, but at that particular time, you don't want me on that phone call," the Love My Life singer added.

The star went on to confess he was "hideously depressed" at the time, and secretly retired from music because he felt he had "no purpose". However, he confessed that since settling into his role as a dad-of-three with wife Ayda Field and getting back on stage, he's got his mojo back.

"Now I'm a 45-year-old man with three kids that has an amazing job," he smiled, adding, "That is purpose and I like it."