Wednesday 25 April 2018

Boy George hails David Bowie after Starman performance

David Bowie died on January 10 two days after his 69th birthday
David Bowie died on January 10 two days after his 69th birthday

Boy George has paid tribute to David Bowie during a performance of the late musician's hit Starman.

Appearing on Channel 4's Stand Up To Cancer on Friday night, the 55-year-old said the Heroes singer's death was "like losing a family member".

Bowie died on January 10 two days after his 69th birthday following a private 18-month battle with liver cancer.

Backed by the NHS choir - made up of doctors, nurses and staff members from across the health service - the Karma Chameleon singer performed a moving cover of Bowie's hit track.

Following his performance, he told the programme's host Davina McCall: "I think to a lot of people who grew up in the 70s he (Bowie) was like one of our relatives, he was part of us.

"Losing him was just like losing a family member. It really hit everybody."

He added he had his own experiences with cancer.

"My grandmother, my aunt two years ago, a close friend very recently. I know so many people who are fighting it.

"What's amazing is that people are really fighting now. There's a real spirit, there's a defiant spirit."

Stand Up To Cancer is raising money for charity and stars celebrities including footballer Daniel Sturridge, actor Martin Freeman and actress Anna Friel.

The programme also paid tribute to actress Caroline Aherne, who died in July at 52 after a battle with lung cancer.

Actor Steve Coogan, who was friends with Aherne for almost 30 years, said she was "sassy, sexy, earthy, kind, smart, sometimes daft".

He added: "She mercilessly took the piss and she made me and a small gang of Manchester friends laugh until they cried.

"She was both ordinary and extraordinary.

"I never thought Caroline would become famous, she seemed too real, too genuine," Coogan added.

He recalled working on a television pilot with the Royle Family star on a hot day and he chose to wear shorts. "She took one look at my legs and said, 'That reminds me, I must get some chicken drumsticks on the way home'," he said.

The programme then screened a montage of Aherne's work, including her performance as Denise Best in The Royle Family for which she won best actress at the British Comedy Awards in 1999.

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