Friday 23 August 2019

George Michael was in demand for television guest appearances

Elton John and George Michael
Elton John and George Michael
Singer George Michael

Ryan Hooper, Press Association

WHILE George Michael will be remembered for his chart-topping hits as a solo artist and with 80s pop band Wham!, he was also able to clock up an impressive collection of guest appearances in the world of television.

His unmistakably powerful stage and screen presence - coupled with his flamboyant, ever changing image - meant he was a big pull for casting directors keen to add a touch of superstar quality to their shows.

And his status as one of the world's biggest solo performers, alongside the likes of Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson during the peak of his success in the 1980s and 1990s, meant the pop pin-up guaranteed viewers.

He is credited with appearing in the first of James Corden's carpool karaoke features, for Comic Relief in 2011, long before the British comedian and television presenter took the idea across the Atlantic for his Late Late Show.

This file photo taken on September 9, 2012 shows British singer George Michael performing on stage during a charity gala for the benefit of Sidaction, at the Opera Garnier in Paris/ AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINAMIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
This file photo taken on September 9, 2012 shows British singer George Michael performing on stage during a charity gala for the benefit of Sidaction, at the Opera Garnier in Paris/ AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINAMIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
File photo dated 13/07/85 of George Michael of Wham performing at the Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium in London: PA/PA Wire
Singer George Michael poses at the "George Michael: A Different Story" Photocall during the 55th annual Berlinale International Film Festival on February 16, 2005 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
George Michael

The short sequence saw the pair duetting on What! hit I'm Your Man, with Michael making a pun about homophobia.

His self-deprecating and playful nature were common features of his cameos - notably when he turned down the sexual advances of a female character in the Catherine Tate Show 2007 Christmas special with: "Do you not read the papers, love?"

He appeared as himself in another BBC comedy, Ricky Gervais' Extras in 2007, in which spent time on a park bench enquiring about "action" and paparazzi, the script also referencing several tabloid newspaper scandals linked to the pop star.

And he also gave his time for a Comic Relief sketch in 2009 when he met the Little Britain characters Lou and Andy. He was the butt of the joke when Matt Lucas' wheelchair-bound character said that his music was "emotionally vapid" - and that he preferred Tony Hadley, frontman with 1980s pop group Spandau Ballet.

Michael was also a frequent reference point for EastEnders character Heather Trott, whose dedication to the singer was such that she named her son after him.

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