UP close with

George Michael

George Michael photos supplied courtesy of © Caroline True Photography

EXCLUSIVE SOUNDBITE, NOT BROADCAST

Vicki Wickham and Sue Clark were both delighted and happy to have made these two programmes with George Michael. He  was a lovely person and a very talented, creative artist. We're honoured that BBC Radio 2 are broadcasting them again to pay tribute to his musical genius. Heartfelt condolences to George's family and friends. We will never forget him.

‘Really enjoying

the George programmes. We’ve trailed them extensively and they have been

very well received.’

Lewis Carnie, Head of Programming at BBC Radio 2

‘Up Close with George Michael’ for Radio 2 is a, Sue Clark Production. Following his 2011 orchestral show at the Royal Albert Hall, presenter Vicki Wickham OBE popped round to George’s for a chat, tea and biscuits. He talked openly about his prison experience and his drug rehabilitation. One way of rewarding himself was to go on this orchestral Symphonica Tour of 2011 and 2012. Touring many of Europe’s esteemed music venues including the Paris Garnier Opera House and the State Opera House in Prague, performing selections of his own songs, as well as songs by some of his favourite artists, with music re-worked and re-arranged for a 40 piece orchestra. The shows were co-produced by the legendary producer Phil Ramone who had worked with everyone from Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra to Aretha Franklin and Luciano Pavarotti. This was to be Phil Ramone’s last project before his death in March 2013 and these programmes contain one of his final interviews.

 

George Michael faced his own battle against pneumonia mid-way through the concert schedule and fortunately made a full recovery enabling him to complete the tour. This is the story of the tour and takes us behind the scenes as we hear from George Michael and some of the people who work closely with him including his song-writing partner David Austin, photographer and film-maker Caroline True and producer Phil Ramone to name just a few.  Plus we hear some of the exclusive recordings of George singing with an orchestra for the Symphonica tour.

 

Broadcaster, TV editor of 60s cult music show Ready Steady Go! and all-round pop music aficionado - Vicki Wickham and radio producer Sue Clark – after experiencing the show at the Royal Albert Hall – were privileged to drop by George’s London home to talk to him about the tour and much, much more... ‘

 

David Austin remembers the first song he and George wrote together at the age of 6 was The Music Maker of the World. And said ‘this tour was all about his voice, after he recovered and continued the tour his voice was incredible and he really got his mojo back and was firing on all cylinders.’

 

Up Close with George Michael

 

TX Date:

Thursday 29th December 2016,

BBC Radio 2 at 8pm [2 x 1hr]

 

Original TX:

Tuesday 18th March &

Tuesday 25th March 2014, BBC Radio 2

 

Presenter: Vicki Wickham

Co-Producers:

Vicki Wickham and Sue Clark

Sound Designer:

Peregrine Andrews

Comms Producer:

Yvonne Macken

 

Contributors: George Michael, David Austin, Phil Ramone, Dawn French, Shirlie Kemp, James Corden, Caroline True (photographer), backing singer Lucy Jules, and orchestra conductor Steve Sidwell

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