Martin Kemp is interviewed for Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, which airs tomorrow at 9pm on ITV1.
In the interview, Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet tells how George Michael introduced him to his wife Shirlie Holliman while she was with Wham!, helped find the expert who saved Martin’s life, and landed him his key acting role in EastEnders.
In a clip on the show, Shirlie Kemp says: “Every time I used to see him, I’d think, ‘Oh my God, he’s so good looking!’
“I was at my friend George Michael’s house and he was saying, ‘You really ought to phone him’.
“He dialed the number and handed the phone to me and the rest is history.”
Martin says: “The first date Shirlie and I ever went on, George came as a chaperone.
“I spent the whole evening trying to lose him so me and Shirlie could sneak off somewhere and snog. I was completely obsessed with Shirlie.
“I’d seen her on Top of the Pops doing ‘Wham Rap’ wearing this white dress with a big slit up the side and I was in love with her.”
While Martin was shooting a television show, Shirlie found a lump on the back of Martin’s head. Martin had two tumors and the one inside his head was the size of a grapefruit and weighed 2kg.
Martin explains: “Shirlie went off with George Michael and they found this professor and he said to me, ‘They haven’t tried it before but there’s a machine in Barts Hospital called stereotactic radiation where they zap it from all different angles’.
“They’d only tried it on cancer patients and never on a benign tumor so they didn’t know if it was going to work.
“I went there and within 20 minutes of being zapped the thing started to die.
“So it was a lot of stress and a lot of worry, but I’d finally reached the end of it.”
Then in 1998 he was cast as Steve Owen in EastEnders.
Martin says that George Michael was up at the Square a few weeks before and said, “You should look at Martin Kemp, he’ll be good for this.”
Martin adds: “He’s a special person, George. He’s been a good friend to us for years.”