Martin Kemp recalls fiery rows between son Roman and George Michael

Martin Kemp reflected on his friendship with the legendary George Michael after meeting through his now-wife Shirlie Holliman. The Careless Whisper hitmaker, who died in 2016 aged 53, would often visit the Kemp household for dinner and ended up in spats with Martin and Shirlie’s son, Roman.

Appearing on Gaby Roslin’s podcast, Martin reminisced that George would “argue until he was blue in the face” and met his match with the then-11-year-old radio host.

The Spandau Ballet star said: “George would argue until he was blue in the face, even if he knew he was wrong he would argue.

“There were times that he would come over for dinner and everyone would have left the table apart from George at one end and Roman – who was probably about 11 years old at the time – who also can’t put an argument down.

“They would just go at each other. It’s a lovely memory.”

George and Shirlie met at school but were the best of friends when she and her co-star Pepsi became Wham! backing vocalists.

Following his death, the mum-of-two said it was one of the hardest things she had ever had to deal with.

In her chat with Gaby, Shirlie said that she feels he is “always” with her.

She confessed: “He’s still around. I can walk into shops and [his songs are] playing everywhere, I always take that as a sign.

“I know that his music was his children and all he wanted was for his music to stay around.”

George was Roman’s godfather and the former Capital FM presenter shared the crucial advice he received when he embarked on a career in showbusiness.

The 31-year-old told The Sun in August 2023: “Having parents who have been through the industry and a godfather who’s been through the industry in the way that George Michael did, you realise the thing everyone’s chasing isn’t actually that great.

“Yes, money is fantastic but other than that, it’s just a bit boring. My big worry is I zoom out at the end of my career and I go, ‘My god, I spent my whole time just trying to get people to like me’.

It comes as Roman confirmed earlier this week that he is leaving Capital at the end of March after seven years, with BBC Radio 1 star Jordan North stepping in as his replacement.

Announcing the news on Instagram, the I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! star wrote: “I love this place so much – I love the station and I love the connection you listening and I have been able to build together.”


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