Martin Kemp talks deal with George Michael that bagged him EastEnders role

Martin Kemp shares embarrassing stories about Roman

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Spandau Ballet member Martin Kemp, 59, has revealed the pact he had with the late Wham! star George Michael, which landed him his EastEnders role as bad boy Steve Owen. Speaking on Martin and Roman’s Weekend Best on Saturday, the singer spoke with guest and former soap co-star Shane Richie, 57, about the deal which saw the actor wear his friend’s jumper on screen in return for the role.

He was a beautiful, beautiful man. I can’t speak highly enough of him

Martin Kemp

The singer spoke to his son Roman, 28 and Shane about how George, who died in 2016, was a massive fan of the soap and bagged him a role in return for wearing his jumper on screen.

Martin said: “George was such an EastEnders fan.

“He got me the part, in EastEnders, as Steve Owen. Yeah, he pushed me through the door,” he added.

However, the star went on to reveal that he had to keep to his side of the deal.

Martin continued: “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!’

Former EastEnders colleague Shane jumped in, desperate to know if the silver-haired singer had managed to pull it off.

“Did you actually do it?” he asked his friend.

Martin replied: “Yeah I did yeah, I sneaked it on and put it on for him and he loved it!”

Addressing George’s love of EastEnders, Shane added: “And he loved June Brown (Dot Cotton).”

The Spandau Ballet star continued: “He was a beautiful, beautiful man. I can’t speak highly enough of him.”

Last year Martin revealed the singer had set him up with wife Shirlie, adding the star “had a big hand in all their life”.

Speaking on BBC’s The One Show, Martin sung his friend’s praises and credited him with getting him and his wife together.

“He had a big hand in all our life to be honest.

“Putting us together,” he continued. “He was the guy that made the phone call to me to get Shirlie to come out.”

George and Shirlie were in Wham! together during the 1980s.

Continuing to address the musician’s hand in his family’s life, Martin said: “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,” he added.

“You know, he found the surgeon that in the end made me better.”

In 1995 Martin was diagnosed with two benign brain tumours and after life-changing brain surgery was given the all clear.

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