George Michael was like an uncle to me, says Roman Kemp

By Julia Hunt, PA Entertainment Correspondent

Roman Kemp has said the late pop star George Michael was like an uncle to him as he was growing up.

The I’m A Celebrity contestant is the son of Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp and singer Shirlie Holliman.

He told his fellow contestants on the ITV show that Michael played a big role in getting his parents together.

Kemp said his mother knew Michael through his Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley, who she once dated.

George Michael (Yui Mok/PA)

He said: “My mother always said that she said to George Michael at a party that she was going to marry him (Martin).

“They were at some party and she didn’t want to speak to him (Martin) and one of George’s friends brought him over and they started talking and my dad gave my mum his phone number and my mum went back to George’s house and George forced my mum to call him.”

Kemp went on: “But their first date, George went with them.

“My mum didn’t want to go on her own. They went to see Sade at the Camden Palace. My dad spent the whole date trying to get rid of him.”
 
Kemp said his “uncle” Michael was “an amazing guy”.

He said: “You’d see him at dinners, Christmas, the lot. It is really nice that all the memories I have are so nice, going on holidays, and having my parents compete with Christmas presents.

“One year, I must have been four or five and my dad bought me a bike, a Raleigh bike. 

“I remember George came round to the house and brought in my present and he’d gone to Harrods and bought one of those electric cars but not just that, it was a Batmobile. I’ve still got it.”

Shirlie Holliman and Martin Kemp (Ian West/PA)

“Memories like that, they’re so nice to have but it’s strange because for me it was just my mum’s best mate,” he added.

Michael died at the age of 53 on Christmas Day 2016.