Andrew Ridgeley says George Michael would have loved Wham! topping chart again

Andrew Ridgeley said his former bandmate George Michael would have loved Wham! securing another number one for Last Christmas.

The Official Charts Company said the hit festive track grabbed the top spot, boasting 11.4 million streams 38 years after it was first released.

George Michael death
Wham’s George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley (PA)

Ridgeley, 59, who was the other half of the musical duo, said: “It is a wonderful surprise and a most fabulous, unexpected Christmas gift to have Last Christmas attain the number one spot for the second year on the bounce.

“George would be so thoroughly pleased as it is the ultimate affirmation of his spectacular song-writing talent, it would mean so very much to him and it is confirmation of the cherished place Wham! occupies in our public’s affections.”

Originally released in 1984, the track once held the record for the best-selling single never to have hit number one in the UK, being famously kept at number two by Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?

It first reached the top spot on New Year’s Day in 2021, at the time breaking a chart record for the longest time a track has taken to top the singles chart, which is now held by Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill.

Frontman turned solo singer Michael died on Christmas Day in 2016 at the age of 53.

In a statement, Michael’s family and George Michael Entertainment said they were “over the moon” by the news and “truly, truly grateful”.

They added: “This is a very emotional time of year for everyone who loved George and it is extremely important to us to know that he retains a special place in people’s hearts.

“It is because of that love and support that the charitable work that meant so much to him can be carried on for many years to come. Thank you to everyone”.

In total, six of the top 10 songs in the charts this week are Christmas tracks, including Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You and Michael Buble’s cover of It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.

Eurovision’s Sam Ryder debut album – There’s Nothing But Space, Man! – also topped the UK charts.

It has become the first debut album by a British male solo artist to reach number one in more than three years.