A COUPLE of years before his death on Christmas Day, 2016, George Michael met Emma Thompson and expressed his pleasure that she was writing a film based on his hit song, Last Christmas.

The festive romcom, Last Christmas, is released on Friday. Speaking on Sky News to promote it, Thompson said: “Now you know that he’s not here anymore, I feel like that meeting was sort of seminal for me because he was such, such a lovely person to me, so kind and humble and normal.

“He’d say, ‘well, you know, I’ve got my issues’ but... he was just a guy dealing with God knows what; God knows what it was like to get that famous that young, and then to develop into this really remarkable singer-songwriter”. Michael’s music, she added, “became a part of the film in a very sort of organic way, and you suddenly heard the poetry and thought, crikey, it’s like he’s writing to the story”.

The soundtrack will feature Wham! and George Michael solo songs, including the previously unreleased ‘This Is How (We Want You To Get High)’.

Both as one-half of Wham! and as an increasingly popular solo artist, Michael toured extensively. Two of his Glasgow appearances are featured here: at the Glasgow Apollo with Wham! (photographer: Harry Turner) in December 1984, and at Hampden in June 2007 (photographer: Mark Gibson).

The year 1984 had been really successful for Michael and his singing partner, Andrew Ridgeley. As the Evening Times pointed out, “the biggest double act since Dolly Parton have gone to number one with every single they have released this year. For good measure, George Michael also went to number one as a soloist with Careless Whisper”.

Read more: Herald Diary

By the time he brought his 25 Live tour to Hampden, he was indisputably one of the world’s biggest stars, even if aspects of his private life had attracted unwelcome headlines. “A fanfare announced his arrival on stage”, began the Herald review by Marianne Gunn, “and although his slightly podgier profile betrayed the fact that he has been doing this for a quarter of a century now, George Michael’s voice never faltered during his packed two-hour set.

“After four tracks, including cracking renditions of Fast Love and Too Funky, he decided to wish Glasgow a good evening and let the crowd know his intentions: to provide everybody with the night of their lives. ...Second-half highlights included Flawless and Amazing, but the showstopper was Faith, from the moment the church organ intro played its first few chords. With encores of Careless Whisper and Freedom (with saltires flying, of course) this star surely scored at Hampden”.

Elton John’s new memoir, Me, makes several references to Michael. The pair fell out over George’s drug problems. “I wish we hadn’t fallen out”, he writes. “But more than that, I wish he was still alive. I loved George. He was ludicrously talented, and he went through a lot, but he was the sweetest, kindest, most generous man. I miss him so much”.