In this two part series, broadcaster, TV editor of 60s cult music show Ready Steady Go! and all-round pop music aficionado Vicki Wickham, gets up close and personal with George Michael as she pops round his house for tea and biscuits following his 2011 orchestral show at London's Royal Albert Hall.
This is the story of the tour and will take listeners behind the scenes as they hear from George himself, 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.
George talks openly about his prison experience and his drug rehabilitation and how one way of rewarding himself was by embarking on this orchestral Symphonica Tour of 2011 and 2012. He performed at many of Europe's esteemed music venues including the Paris Garnier Opera House and the State Opera House in Prague, playing 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. George faced a battle against pneumonia mid-way through the concert schedule, and fortunately made a full recovery enabling him to complete the tour. 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's last project before his death in March 2013 and these programmes contain one of his final interviews.
Plus, listeners will hear some of the exclusive recordings of George singing with an orchestra for the Symphonica tour.
Contributors include; George Michael, David Austin, Phil Ramone, Dawn French, Shirlie Kemp, James Corden, Caroline True (photographer), backing singer Lucy Jules, and orchestra conductor Steve Sidwell.
Presenter/ Vicki Wickham, Producer/ Sue Clark for Sue Clark Productions.