George Michael documentary maker: No-one would say anything bad about him

12 December 2023, 13:52

George Michael - Portrait Of An Artist documentary trailer

By Mayer Nissim

George Michael's old manager says that no-one really disliked the pop superstar.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

George Michael has been the subject of several vital documentaries about his life and work, including the recent Wham! film on Netflix and 2022's stunning George Michael Freedom Uncut.

Another indispensable movie was released earlier this year, George Michael: Portrait of an Artist, which had the distinction of being directed by Simon Napier-Bell, who managed Wham in their 1980s heyday.

While some music documentaries shy away from exploring the less savoury side of their subjects, Napier-Bell revealed that he absolutely tried to get some of Michael's contemporaries on the record with any issues they had with him.

But George Michael was as known for his kindness and generosity of spirit almost as much as his talent, and the director came up short despite his digging.

"I interviewed people who he had big quarrels with, but none of them disliked him," Napier-Bell told Yahoo! Movies.

George Michael with Wham!
George Michael with Wham! Picture: Getty Images

"He'd get furious because something wasn't ready at a gig or something wasn't done right, but that was his job.

"If he played a gig and the sound wasn’t right, or a musician played a bad note, it was George who looked bad, not the musician.

"He could be short and sharp and bad tempered but hey, we all are. I couldn't find anyone to say anything bad about him."

George Michael in concert
George Michael in concert. Picture: Getty Images

Asked what George would think of the film, which is out now on Blu-ray and DVD, Napier-Bell said: “I think he'd be happy with it. He might feel that there weren’t enough bad points, though."

Born in 1963, George Michael sold over 100 million records around the world, scoring success first as half of Wham with Andrew Ridgley, and then as a solo singer-songwriter.

He died on Christmas Day in 2016 aged just 53 from natural causes.

Wham's greatest music videos: Andrew Ridgeley breaks down his biggest hits | Smooth's Video Rewind