George Michael sent Martin Kemp Christmas hampers every year for 30 years

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  • Martin Kemp
    Actor and musician, bassist for Spandau Ballet
  • George Michael
    George Michael
    British singer (1963-2016)
Shirlie and Martin Kemp credit:Bang Showbiz
Shirlie and Martin Kemp credit:Bang Showbiz

George Michael sent Martin Kemp two huge festive hampers every Christmas for 30 years. 

The late pop icon - who died aged 53 on Christmas Day in 2016 - "absolutely loved" the holidays, and Spandau Ballet bassist Martin has admitted it's "very weird" not receiving the gifts anymore. 

Speaking on Greatest Hits Radio, Martin - who is married to George's former Wham! bandmate Shirlie Holliman - said: "George absolutely loved Christmas. 

"Christmas in the Kemp household didn't start until December 14th when two giant hampers would be delivered through our door from Harrods. 

"Two massive baskets full of wine and cheese and food and meats and everything you needed to have a great Christmas. 

"This didn't happen just once or twice. This happened for 30 years. It's very weird today that we don't get those hampers." 

Watch: 'You can’t take your kids there': Roman Kemp reveals George Michael convinced his parents not to move to the US

The 60-year-old musician has opened up about his friendship with the 'Last Christmas' singer for a new programme 'George Michael: 5 Years On', which is set to air on Christmas Day (25.12.21). 

He heaped praise on George's generosity, both financially and with "his time". 

He added: "When he first became this global superstar, and all of a sudden had all of this money, he wanted to share it with his friends.  

"I remember one birthday that he had, he took everybody on a DC-10 [plane]. All of his friends, to Richard Branson's Necker Island. And we spent a week there, 20 of us. Scuba diving together and building sandcastles together. 

"I will never forget it. But he was like that, he was so generous. Not just with his money but also his time. He would listen to you if you had problems. He was just such a lovely man."  

Meanwhile, Martin also admitted he wasn't actually a fan of Wham!'s huge hit 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go' when George first played him the demo. 

He recalled: "I say all the things that are right that you should say like, 'This is brilliant, it's going to be a great song. You're going to do really well with it, it's going to be a smash.' 

"Then I say goodbye to him, get my jacket and I go. Sit next to Shirlie in the car and I said to her, 'Shirl, he just played me the new song 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go'. Listen I think it's going to sink. I think it's the worst thing I've ever heard.' 

"Anyway, what do I know? Good job I'm not his manager!" 

Listen to 'George Michael: 5 Years On' hosted by Martin Kemp on Greatest Hits Radio on Christmas Day between 5-7pm.

Watch: WHAM BAM! Things should know about George Michael

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