British singer Robbie Williams "proposed" to his actress girlfriend, Ayda Field, live on Australian radio yesterday, but his spokesman then said it was a joke, Reuters reported.

Adding to the confusion, Williams' mother Jan later told British radio that the 35-year-old star intended to marry Field "in the not-too-distant future."

Field was in the studio with Williams, 35, for the "Kyle and Jackie O" show on Australian radio station 2DayFM in Sydney to promote his new album "Reality Killed the Video Star."

Presenter Jackie Henderson was telling him that Sydney has a reputation for proposals with celebrities at which point Williams turned to Field and said: "Is there anyone you want to get married to?"

She replied: "This is so awkward."

To which Williams said: "Will you marry me?"

After a pause, Field, 30, answered: "Yes, I'll marry you."

When asked whether Williams was serious, his London-based spokesman told Reuters: "He did say it, but in a jocular manner. They are not engaged."

But the singer's mother Jan later told BBC's Radio 5 Live show: "I'm very excited. I'm really pleased. They've been together for nearly three years, so it's about time."

One of Europe's most successful entertainers, Williams rose to fame as a member of the hit boy band Take That before forging a successful solo career.