Martin Kemp reveals George Michael got him his role in EastEnders

Martin Kemp has revealed that the late George Michael got him his role as Steve Owen in EastEnders, with the Careless Whisper singer demanding he wear one of his jumpers on the show in return. 

Speaking on his show Martin and Roman’s Weekend Best on Saturday, the Spandau Ballet star, 59, recalled how George, who passed away in 2016, was a huge fan of the BBC soap and orchestrated him landing the part of the Walford bad boy.

Martin, whose wife Shirlie Kemp (née Holliman) starred with George in Wham! in the 1980s, told how George ‘loved’ him wearing his clothes on the BBC soap after he had ‘snuck’ on a jumper. 

Wow: Martin Kemp has revealed that the late George Michael got him his role as Steve Owen in EastEnders, with the Careless Whisper singer demanding he wear one of his jumpers on the show in return

Speaking about the late chart-topper, Martin explained: ‘George was such an EastEnders fan. He got me the part, in EastEnders, as Steve Owen. Yeah, he pushed me through the door! 

‘Then he said to me, “One thing I want in return… here’s one of my jumpers, sneak it on one day, you have to wear it in one of the scenes!”‘

Guest Shane Richie, 57, then asked: ‘Did you actually do it?’ with Martin replying: ‘Yeah I did yeah, I sneaked it on and put it on for him and he loved it!’

Sharing how much the singer was a big fan of the soap, Shane then added: ‘And he loved June Brown (Dot Cotton)!’, with Martin stating: ‘He was a beautiful, beautiful man. I can’t speak highly enough of him.’

Legend: Speaking on his show Martin and Roman's Weekend Best on Saturday, the Spandau Ballet star, 59, recalled how George, who passed away in 2016, was a huge fan of the BBC soap and orchestrated him landing the part of the Walford bad boy

Legend: Speaking on his show Martin and Roman’s Weekend Best on Saturday, the Spandau Ballet star, 59, recalled how George, who passed away in 2016, was a huge fan of the BBC soap and orchestrated him landing the part of the Walford bad boy

Meanwhile after introducing guest Shane, the show aired a clip of his 2003  music video of his version of Wham! track I’m Your Man, with Shane later adding he didn’t feel George approved of his interpretation.

After watching the clip, Shane said: ‘It’s interesting looking at that video because I know you knew George, and I met George. And on his 40th birthday was a trip around Albert Square, that’s what he wanted.

‘And then I did that [his cover] and I don’t think he liked my version.’ 

Memories: Martin, whose wife Shirlie Kemp (née Holliman) starred with George in Wham! in the 1980s, told how George 'loved' him wearing his clothes on the BBC soap after he had 'snuck' on a jumper

Memories: Martin, whose wife Shirlie Kemp (née Holliman) starred with George in Wham! in the 1980s, told how George ‘loved’ him wearing his clothes on the BBC soap after he had ‘snuck’ on a jumper

Helping hand: Speaking about the late chart-topper, Martin explained: 'George was such an EastEnders fan. He got me the part, in EastEnders, as Steve Owen. Yeah, he pushed me through the door!'

Helping hand: Speaking about the late chart-topper, Martin explained: ‘George was such an EastEnders fan. He got me the part, in EastEnders, as Steve Owen. Yeah, he pushed me through the door!’ 

Old friends:  'Then he said to me, "One thing I want in return... here's one of my jumpers, sneak it on one day, you have to wear it in one of the scenes!"' (Martin pictured with George in 1984)

Old friends:  ‘Then he said to me, “One thing I want in return… here’s one of my jumpers, sneak it on one day, you have to wear it in one of the scenes!”‘ (Martin pictured with George in 1984)

Martin was quick to respond: ‘Oh no, I’m sure he didn’t, I’m sure he was flattered!’ 

To which Roman Kemp jumped in: ‘What had your character done, what had Alfie Moon done at that point? Because he took that very to heart!’

Back in October, Martin and Shirlie revealed that George was the one who set them up, noting that the Faith hitmaker ‘had a big hand in all their life’. 

Speaking on The One Show, Martin said that their close friend was the one who dialled his number on Shirley’s phone when they first got together. 

Oh no: Meanwhile after introducing guest Shane, the show aired a clip of his 2003 music video of his version of Wham! track I'm Your Man, with Shane later adding he didn't feel George approved of his interpretation

Oh no: Meanwhile after introducing guest Shane, the show aired a clip of his 2003 music video of his version of Wham! track I’m Your Man, with Shane later adding he didn’t feel George approved of his interpretation

Gutted: Shane said: 'On his 40th birthday was a trip around Albert Square, that's what he wanted. 'And then I did that [his cover] and I don't think he liked my version'

Gutted: Shane said: ‘On his 40th birthday was a trip around Albert Square, that’s what he wanted. ‘And then I did that [his cover] and I don’t think he liked my version’

He said: ‘He had a big hand in all our life to be honest. Putting us together. he was the guy that made the phone call to me to get Shirlie to come out. 

‘He dialled the numbers on the telephone. He got me the job in EastEnders.

‘He looked after us in more ways that you can ever imagine. You know, he found the surgeon that in the end made me better.’ [in reference to when he had a brain tumour in 1997]

Even though George dialled the number, Shirlie insisted that she still spoke and George didn’t ‘pretend to be her’.  

Shirlie, explaining how she felt about Martin when they first met, said: ‘I knew before I met him that I was going to marry him. 

'George set us up': Back in October, Martin and Shirlie revealed that George was the one who set them up, noting that the Faith hitmaker 'had a big hand in all their life'

‘George set us up’: Back in October, Martin and Shirlie revealed that George was the one who set them up, noting that the Faith hitmaker ‘had a big hand in all their life’

'He had a big hand in our life': As well as setting the couple up, Martin said George also got him an audition for EastEnders and found a surgeon who made him better after his brain tumour

‘He had a big hand in our life’: As well as setting the couple up, Martin said George also got him an audition for EastEnders and found a surgeon who made him better after his brain tumour

‘I’m very intuitive and we went to a nightclub – me, George and Andrew. This was very early days, I’m not even sure if Wham! was kind of happening then. 

‘We saw Spandau and George is nudging me going, “Spandau Ballet, Spandau Ballet”.

‘And I look over and I see Martin. Because George knows I fancied Martin. And I had this sensation that said, “You don’t need to meet him yet because you’re going to marry him”. 

‘It was just a voice. How do you explain that?’ 

The couple got married in 1988 and have two children: photographer Harley Moon, 31, and Capital Breakfast radio host Roman, 28. 

'He knew I fancied Martin': Shirlie revealed that fellow Wham! singer George (pictured together in 1986) nudged her in a nightclub when he spotted the Spandau Ballet star

‘He knew I fancied Martin’: Shirlie revealed that fellow Wham! singer George (pictured together in 1986) nudged her in a nightclub when he spotted the Spandau Ballet star

Family: The couple got married in 1988 and have two children: photographer Harley Moon, 31, and Capital Breakfast radio host Roman, 28 (pictured in 2019 with children Harley Moon and Roman)

Family: The couple got married in 1988 and have two children: photographer Harley Moon, 31, and Capital Breakfast radio host Roman, 28 (pictured in 2019 with children Harley Moon and Roman)

PICTURED: Harry Redknapp arrives at EastEnders set to film scenes for his new role

PICTURED: Harry Redknapp arrives at EastEnders set to film scenes for his new role amid claims he is already ‘inseparable’ from co-star Danny Dyer

  • The former footballer, 74, drove to Elstree Film Studios in his white Range Rover earlier this week – amid claims he’s already ‘inseparable’ with his co-star Danny 
  • Sports manager Harry has joined the cast as a friend of Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter – with the scenes set to air between June and July during the Euros
  • The new actor – who is said to have had immediate chemistry with Danny, 43 – said: ‘Danny Dyer was terrific to work with’
  • The pair are both from east London and reportedly bonded over their love of West Ham – which Harry played for in the 60s and managed in the 90s 

Harry Redknapp was seen arriving at the EastEnders set earlier this week as he prepared to step into his new role. 

The former footballer, 74, drove to Elstree Film Studios in his white Range Rover amid claims he’s already ‘inseparable’ with his co-star Danny Dyer.

According to reports, the sports manager has joined the cast as a friend of Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter – with the scenes set to air between June and July during the Euros.

Exciting times ahead: Harry Redknapp was seen arriving at the EastEnders set earlier this week as he prepared to step into his new role

The new actor sported reading glasses and a navy jumper as he sat in the driver’s seat.

It was claimed that the former King of the Jungle was ‘cheered’ by crew as he arrived on the set for the first time as he laughed and joked with TV’s hardman.

The publication also reported the former Tottenham Hotspur manager is said to have had immediate chemistry with Danny, 43, who has been on the soap for five years. 

Harry told The Sun: ‘I’ve always wanted to have a drink in the Queen Vic. Danny Dyer was terrific to work with.’ 

He's arrived! The former footballer, 74, drove to Elstree Film Studios in his white Range Rover amid claims he's already 'inseparable' with his co-star Danny Dyer

He’s arrived! The former footballer, 74, drove to Elstree Film Studios in his white Range Rover amid claims he’s already ‘inseparable’ with his co-star Danny Dyer

'Danny Dyer was terrific to work with': According to reports, the sports manager has joined the cast as a friend of Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter (pictured)

‘Danny Dyer was terrific to work with’: According to reports, the sports manager has joined the cast as a friend of Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter (pictured)

Off he goes: The new actor sported reading glasses and a navy jumper as he sat in the driver's seat

Off he goes: The new actor sported reading glasses and a navy jumper as he sat in the driver’s seat

Perfect partner: The former Tottenham Hotspur manager is said to have had immediate chemistry with Danny, 43, who has been on the soap for five years

Perfect partner: The former Tottenham Hotspur manager is said to have had immediate chemistry with Danny, 43, who has been on the soap for five years

The pair are both from east London and reportedly bonded over their love of West Ham football club which Harry played for in the 60s and managed in the 90s.  

The source added: ‘Harry isn’t a bad actor, especially for EastEnders. He brought a real-life Cockney feel.

‘It looks like this might not be the last viewers see of him. He and Danny were a great team-up.

‘They were both clearly over the moon to be working with each other. Everyone adored having Harry around.’

Warm welcome: It was claimed that the former King of the Jungle was 'cheered' by crew as he arrived on the set for the first time as he laughed and joked with TV's hardman

Warm welcome: It was claimed that the former King of the Jungle was ‘cheered’ by crew as he arrived on the set for the first time as he laughed and joked with TV’s hardman

Lifelong dream: 'I've always wanted to have a drink in the Queen Vic', the I'm A Celebrity star said in an interview

Lifelong dream: ‘I’ve always wanted to have a drink in the Queen Vic’, the I’m A Celebrity star said in an interview

Close: The TV star and hardman Danny are both from east London and reportedly bonded over their love of West Ham football club

Close: The TV star and hardman Danny are both from east London and reportedly bonded over their love of West Ham football club

Driving around in style: The media personality is known for his role of flashy cars, and recently became a brand ambassador for Land Rover dealerships

Driving around in style: The media personality is known for his role of flashy cars, and recently became a brand ambassador for Land Rover dealerships

MailOnline has contacted Harry’s representatives for further comment. 

Harry won the hearts of the nation when he became King Of The Jungle on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Outta Here! in 2018.

Last month a source speaking to The Mirror claimed BBC bosses were keen to cast Harry after being wowed by his charm, saying: ‘Harry will be a great addition to EastEnders.

‘Even though he has no traditional acting experience, his character and charm are more than enough to stand him in good stead on the show. 

Star: The legendary sportsman won the hearts of the nation when he became King Of The Jungle on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Outta Here! in 2018 (pictured)

Star: The legendary sportsman won the hearts of the nation when he became King Of The Jungle on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Outta Here! in 2018 (pictured)

‘And with him growing up in the real East End, it makes it even better. Everything has been pretty much agreed and it’s now down to the fine details.’ 

MailOnline contacted Harry’s representatives and spokespeople for EastEnders for further comment at the time. 

In January Harry shared his desire to appear in the soap as he told The Sun on Sunday: ‘My ambition for 2021 is to get a part in EastEnders because I’m a real Eastender.

‘I grew up in Poplar, so have a real affinity with the area. I’ve already worked out my character.’ 

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Harry Redknapp confirms EastEnders role as he’s seen arriving on set

Harry Redknapp confirms EastEnders role as he’s seen arriving on set amid claims he is already ‘inseparable’ from co-star Danny Dyer

Harry Redknapp has confirmed he will have a role on upcoming episodes of EastEnders after he was seen arriving on set earlier this week. 

The former footballer, 74, has joined the soap as a friend of Danny Dyer’s character Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter and it has been claimed the pair are already ‘inseparable’.

In pictures obtained by The Mirror, Harry was seen on his way to BBC’s Elstree studios on Tuesday to start shooting scenes. 

New venture: Harry Redknapp has confirmed he will have a role on upcoming episodes of EastEnders after he was seen arriving on set earlier this week

The publication also reported the former Tottenham Hotspur manager is said to have had immediate chemistry with Danny, 43, who has been on the soap for five years.

It was claimed that Harry was ‘cheered’ by crew as he arrived on the set for the first time as he laughed and joked with Danny.

The pair are both from east London and reportedly bonded over their love of West Ham football club which Harry played for in the 60s and managed in the 90s. 

Perfect partner: The former footabller, 74, has joined the soap as a friend of Danny Dyer's character Mick Carter (pictured) and it has been claimed the pair are already inseparable

Perfect partner: The former footabller, 74, has joined the soap as a friend of Danny Dyer’s character Mick Carter (pictured) and it has been claimed the pair are already inseparable

A source said the duo are now ‘inseparable’ after spending long days on set filming together.

The source added: ‘Harry isn’t a bad actor, especially for EastEnders. He brought a real-life Cockney feel.

‘It looks like this might not be the last viewers see of him. He and Danny were a great team-up.

‘They were both clearly over the moon to be working with each other. Everyone adored having Harry around.’

Exciting: In pictures obtained by The Mirror, Harry was seen on his way to BBC's Elstree studios on Tuesday to start shooting scenes (Harry pictured with son Jamie in 2019)

Exciting: In pictures obtained by The Mirror, Harry was seen on his way to BBC’s Elstree studios on Tuesday to start shooting scenes (Harry pictured with son Jamie in 2019)

MailOnline has contacted Harry’s representatives for further comment. 

Harry won the hearts of the nation when he became King Of The Jungle on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Outta Here! in 2018.

Last month a source speaking to The Mirror claimed BBC bosses were keen to cast Harry after being wowed by his charm, saying: ‘Harry will be a great addition to EastEnders.

‘Even though he has no traditional acting experience, his character and charm are more than enough to stand him in good stead on the show. 

Star: Harry won the hearts of the nation when he became King Of The Jungle on I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Outta Here! in 2018

Star: Harry won the hearts of the nation when he became King Of The Jungle on I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Outta Here! in 2018 

Close: The publication also reported the former Tottenham Hotspur manager is said to have had immediate chemistry with Danny, 43, who has been on the soap for five years

Close: The publication also reported the former Tottenham Hotspur manager is said to have had immediate chemistry with Danny, 43, who has been on the soap for five years

‘And with him growing up in the real East End, it makes it even better. Everything has been pretty much agreed and it’s now down to the fine details.’ 

MailOnline contacted Harry’s representatives and spokespeople for EastEnders for further comment at the time. 

In January Harry shared his desire to appear in the soap as he told The Sun on Sunday: ‘My ambition for 2021 is to get a part in EastEnders because I’m a real Eastender.

‘I grew up in Poplar, so have a real affinity with the area. I’ve already worked out my character.’ 

Pals: Harry and Danny are both from east London and reportedly bonded over their love of West Ham football club which Harry played for in the 60s and managed in the 90s

Pals: Harry and Danny are both from east London and reportedly bonded over their love of West Ham football club which Harry played for in the 60s and managed in the 90s

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