The topic came up when Ridgeley was interviewed on Magic Radio Breakfast to talk about the 40 anniversary of Wham! and some of his favourite things about Christmas as the station launched Magic 100% Christmas, in which they will be playing festive hits non-stop until midnight on Boxing Day.
“One of the most spectacular things I ever did around Christmas was play Wembley on Christmas Eve,” Ridgeley said. “George and I as Wham had a tour in 1984, we played five or six nights right through Christmas. It was probably one of the few years that we didn’t go out Christmas carolling, much I imagine to the consternation of some households who couldn’t quite believe they had WHAM! plus entourage singing Christmas carols there in front of them.”
Christmas has understandably become a more bittersweet occasion for Ridgeley as Christmas Day now marks the anniversary of Michael’s death. The singer died in 2016 from heart and liver failure at the age of 53. “Obviously it will be an anniversary Christmas day and that lends a sadness to Christmas,” Ridgeley said. “We try and look on the positives and what was life affirming about George, and his work and his songs and we have great memories. His friends of Christmas, larking about and Christmas parties they were always outstanding.”
He spent many Christmases with Michael, having first met him at a young age. “We were schoolboy best friends, and that relationship had a bond that was strong right through our lives, so we meant a lot to each other, and we did spend a lot of time together through our professional career and then at social times like Christmas so lots of good times there.”