Martin Kemp's "heart sank" when he realised Shirlie Holliman had brought George Michael along on their first date
The Spandau Ballet star had arranged to meet the Wham! backing singer at London's Camden Palace and was unimpressed to arrive and realise she'd brought her pal as a chaperone - and the late 'Careless Whisper' hitmaker didn't enjoy the evening very much either
12 November 2019
Martin recalled: "As I was walking down Camden High Street I saw Shirlie standing on the corner and my heart sank because she had brought her mate, and her mate was George Michael.
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"We spent the evening trying to lose him."
Shirlie added: "He said, 'I didn't know you'd be snogging all night.'
"He was just my mate. I didn't have another friend at the time. Him and me would go clubbing together."
But George was instrumental on getting the couple - who have children Harleymoon and Roman - together in the first place.
Marin told the Daily Mail Weekend magazine: "I'd seen Wham! on Top Of The Pops singing Young Guns, and I couldn't take my eyes off Shirlie. I thought she was the most beautiful woman I'd seen.
"Two weeks later we were at some VIP screening and there she was. I gave her my number, but she didn't call me for three weeks."
Shirlie explained: "It wasn't because I didn't want to call. He was this big pop star and I was scared he would be a proper pop star. He was so good-looking.
"I was at [George's] house and he kept saying, 'Are you going to call him?' He was a big Spandau fan. He called the number and gave me the phone.
"Martin's mum answered and I said, 'Is Martin there, please?' She asked who it was and I was so embarrassed, she probably had girls phoning all the time for him. Then he came on and said, 'I'm so pleased you called.' He sounded really happy I'd phoned. So that was it."
Shirlie, now 57, admitted she was reluctant to get involved with Martin, 58, because he was so handsome.
She said: "It's always been like that. I remember my mum meeting him for the first time. She said, 'Oh, Shirl, he's the most handsome man I've ever seen. He's like Elvis.'
"He looked so much like a pop star that I thought he would be like a pop star, and I didn't want that. Then I discovered he was the kindest man I'd ever met."