When a George Michael impersonator fooled hundreds of fans in Leicester Square singing 'I'm Your Man'

9 March 2021, 16:34 | Updated: 9 March 2021, 16:37

When a George Michael impersonator fooled hundreds of fans in Leicester Square singing 'I'm Your Man'
When a George Michael impersonator fooled hundreds of fans in Leicester Square singing 'I'm Your Man'. Picture: YouTube / NikNakShak

By Sian Moore

As a crowd gathered in London's Leicester Square, they believed they'd bagged a spot at a live George Michael gig. But unfortunately, all wasn't what it seemed.

Because despite singing a very convincing rendition of Wham!'s 1986 pop hit 'I'm Your Man', and sporting a George Michael-esque outfit, it wasn't the man himself.

Standing on a balcony above London's Leicester Square, with a microphone in hand, was really just a talented impersonator. And he had the people fooled.

Watch: George Michael's last ever concert, where his final words were heartbreakingly poignant

The normally bustling streets around the square had come to a standstill, as hundreds gathered below to watch the show.

And holding them all completely enraptured was one of the world's greatest George Michael impersonators: Rob Lamberti.

Watch the incredible moment below, captured on a mobile over a decade ago...

Read more: When Adam Lambert paid tribute to George Michael with a flawless cover of 'Faith'

Rob Lamberti gives a believable rendition of Wham!'s 'I'm Your Man' to onlookers below
Rob Lamberti gives a believable rendition of Wham!'s 'I'm Your Man' to onlookers below. Picture: YouTube / NikNakShak
The grainy footage shows hundreds of onlookers gathering in Leicester Square to watch the George Michael impersonator
The grainy footage shows hundreds of onlookers gathering in Leicester Square to watch the George Michael impersonator. Picture: YouTube / NikNakShak

There's a reason the crowd below believes they're watching the music legend himself.

With strikingly similar vocals, and an uncanny resemblance, Lamberti has nailed his impersonation of Michael.

It actually bagged him third place on the TV talent show Stars In Their Eyes back in 1994, it was that good.

Read more: When George Michael kissed Madonna live on stage at the 1989 MTV Awards

And he was so impressive, in fact, that the 'Careless Whisper' singer had to see a performance for himself.

One evening in 1997, Lamberti took to the stage for a gig at Cinebar, Harrow, as an audience of excited Wham! superfans eagerly awaited.

But among the huddle of onlookers, two figures discretely watched the show from the back of the room.

Read more: George Michael facts: Singer's age, songs, family, partner and death explained

Rob Lamberti performs on stage as George Michael
Rob Lamberti performs on stage as George Michael. Picture: Getty

The real George Michael kept hidden beneath a baseball cap as he watched the show, standing next to the door with his Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley.

Recalling the extraordinary moment, Lamberti told the Express: "I wasn't sure how long they had been there, but of course as his lookalike I knew for sure it was him.

Read more: When George Michael performed with Wham! for the last time

"The adrenalin took me to another level and gave my performance an ultra-energetic feel," he continued.

"I was thrilled to know that the man I'd been making my career, was actually watching what I did."

Read more: When George Michael was exposed on This Morning as secret £50,000 donor who sent needy kids to Lapland

Lamberti has been impersonating the late musician for years, and is considered so good that George himself once said: "People are always mistaking me for Rob Lamberti."

The tribute act first started back in the early '90s on a karaoke machine, when Lamberti was semi-drunk at the time.

How Wham! got their name: Teenage George Michael reveals story in interview clip from 1983

"The reaction, at first, was throwing stuff at me, but soon, after many weeks of practice, it became a bit of a novelty, and George was in the building every Wednesday at The Saddlers Arms in Northampton," he told Smooth Radio.

"I sang 'Faith' on there, and I was a finalist. So I went from working on a building site, to in front of live TV – overnight. Which was pretty crazy at the time."

Watch the full interview below.