Andrew Ridgeley ‘envious’ of George Michael’s talent

Andrew Ridgeley 'envious' of George Michael's talent

Andrew Ridgeley has said he was never jealous of Wham! co-star George Michael's success, but that he did envy his talent.

However, he said that there were no hard feelings when Michael went off to score a successful solo career after they split in 1986 following a relatively short stint as a duo.

Asked if he felt short-changed that Wham! had only lasted a few years, Ridgeley told The Graham Norton Show: "No. It all happened so quickly, and the success took us by surprise, but it had a finite lifespan."

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Singer George Michael arrives at the London Hilton hotel, for tonight's celebrity fashion show, which is held for the charity London Lighthouse, the centre for people suffering with HIV and AIDS.
Floral tributes are left outside the home of George Michael in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, on the second anniversary of the singer's death.
Tributes to George Michael outside his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. George Michael's family have asked fans to remove their tributes from outside the late singer's former homes for the sake of his neighbours.
Tributes to George Michael outside his house in Highgate, north London. George Michael's family have asked fans to remove their tributes from outside the late singer's former homes for the sake of his neighbours.
Tributes outside George Michael's house in Highgate, North London, UK, following the singer's death.
Singer George Michael performs during the Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, on the final day of the London 2012 Olympics.
George Michael (right) presents Jonathan Ross with the 2009 Music Industry Trusts' Award at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, London.
George Michael is seen performing in concert at Earls Court, London.
George Michael is seen performing in concert at Earls Court, London.
Singer George Michael performs at the MEN Arena in Manchester during his '25 Live' world tour.
Singer George Michael performs at the MEN Arena in Manchester during his '25 Live' world tour.
Singer George Michael performs at the MEN Arena in Manchester during his '25 Live' world tour.
Capital radio presenters Johnny Vaughn (left) and Zoe Hanson with George Michael after the singer interviewed Vaughn for Help a London Child.
George Michael receives the Lifetime Contribution Award during the 7th annual GQ Men Of The Year Awards at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, central London.
Singer George Michael (right) and his partner Kenny Goss arrive for Attitude Magazine's 10th Birthday Party at the Atlantic Bar & Grill in central London, to celebrate 10 years for the gay style magazine.
Singers George Michael and Geri Halliwell arrive at the 95.8 Capital FM London Awards in London.
This picture can only be used in conjunction with editorial on NetAid: Singer George Michael performing on stage at the charity NetAid concert, at Wembley Stadium.
This picture can only be used in conjunction with editorial on NetAid: Singer George Michael performing on stage at the charity NetAid concert, at Wembley Stadium.
Library filer dated 3/91 of singer George Michael in concert at Wembley. Police in Beverly Hills have arrested a man who gave his name as George Michael for "disorderly conduct". The man, who gave his occupation as singer, was booked under the name Georgios Panayiotou - the former Wham star's real name - it was confirmed today (Weds). See PA story POLICE Michael. Photo by Fiona Hanson/PA.
PA NEWS PHOTO 29/5/97 SINGER GEORGE MICHAEL AT THE IVOR NOVELLO MUSIC AWARDS IN LONDON
Pop stars George Michael and Annie Lennox, after receiving the best male and female singers awards at Capital Radio FM's star-studded Help A London Child charity lunch at London's Royal Lancaster Hotel.
The Princess of Wales, Patron of the National Aids Trust, shakes hands with pop superstar Mick Hucknall, backstage at Wembley Arena before the Concert of Hope to mark World Aids Day. Also pictured next to Hucknall are David Bowie (r) and George Michael (l).
George Michael singing on stage during the concert.
Pop superstar George Michael in London after he accepted a six-figure undisclosed libel damages in the High Court against The Sun newspaper over stories that he gatecrashed a party being given by Andrew Lloyd Webber and was drunk and abusive.
Pop duo Wham partners, Andrew Ridgeley (l) and George Michael, on stage at Wembley Stadium for their sell-out farewell concert.
George Michael dances on stage at Wembley Stadium for the Wham! sell-out farewell concert.
George Michael at Wembley Stadium for the Wham! sell-out farewell concert.
Left to right: Bono of U2, Paul McCartney, and Freddy Mercury of Queen, during the finale.
Pop stars singing during the finale of the Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium: (L-R) George Michael, promoter Harvey Goldstein, Bono (lead singer of U2), Paul McCartney and Freddie Mercury (lead singer of Queen).
Top pop duo Wham! 20 year old singer George Michael (L) and his guitar playing partner Andrew Ridgeley. 21/10/04: Pop duo Wham! whose song Freedom was top of the charts twenty years ago this week.
George Michael (r) and Andrew Ridgeley of Wham at Heathrow Airport before leaving for a tour of Japan.
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He added, of Michael: "I was never jealous of my best friend, but I was envious of his talent.

"I had achieved my ambition of being in a band and playing live and I wanted him to go on and realise his talent as much as he did."

Following the band's split, Michael went on to have a major career as a solo artist and became one of the biggest-selling artists of all time, while Ridgeley – who co-wrote Wham! hit Careless Whisper with Michael – largely avoided the limelight, although he released a solo album called Son Of Albert in 1990.

Ridgeley, 56, is now releasing a memoir about his friendship with Michael entitled Wham!, George And Me.

Graham Norton Show - LondonThe book details his friendship with Michael over the years from their meeting in 1975 at Bushey Meads School to their rise to fame and success with hits including Last Christmas and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go in the 1980s.

It also covers the band's farewell gig at London's Wembley Stadium on June 28 1986, when they said goodbye to their fans and each other.

Michael died on Christmas Day in 2016 at the age of 53.

A post-mortem examination found he had died from heart disease and a build-up of fat in his liver, which can be linked to drug and alcohol abuse.

Ridgeley told Norton: "It seemed there was negativity after his death that threatened to overshadow his legacy, so I wanted to shift the perspective back on to the glory days and what was vibrant and exuberant about George's life."

Of his late best friend and co-star's legacy, he added: "Personally, it's our friendship – it will endure, it is eternal.

"For everyone else, he was an exceptional vocalist and songwriter. He was brilliant."

Ridgeley was joined on the programme by Renee Zellweger, Louis Theroux, Sir Lenny Henry and the band Elbow.

The Graham Norton Show is on BBC One on Friday October 4 at 10.35pm.

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