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Martin Kemp reveals surprising A-lister involved in 34-year marriage with Shirlie

The Spandau Ballet star spoke to HELLO! about his marriage

martin kemp shirlie
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
17 January 2023
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We've all had that one friend who tries to play matchmaker, but in the case of Martin and Shirlie Kemp, it actually worked out!

The Martin & Roman's Weekend Best star and the Wham! singer have been married for an impressive 34 years, but they may never have started dating had it not been for their A-list pal. The couple first crossed paths at a party, but after Shirlie was too intimidated to call Martin after three weeks, George Michael took matters into his own hands.

WATCH: Martin and Shirlie Kemp share mesmerising home transformation video

Former Spandau Ballet star Martin told HELLO!: "The first time I saw Shirlie it was when I was watching Top of the Pops. It was Thursday night and I was around my mum and dad's house and this new band came on called Wham! So I saw the blonde girl in that and absolutely fell in love with her over the screen.

"But it wasn't the first time that had happened to me… that had happened before when I fell in love with Cilla Black. I remember getting up and kissing the television. I saw Shirlie a couple of weeks later at a do, some VIP party, and I went over and I gave her my number and it took her about three weeks to call me.

shirlie kemp george micheal© Photo: Getty Images

"In the end, she rang and we arranged a date, but what she told me later is it wasn't her that called – it was George Michael. He picked up the phone, dialled the number and handed her the receiver," he said as he promoted his collaboration with Visa, who are encouraging people to report fraud and raising awareness of the Visa Zero Liability Policy.

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Martin and Shirlie got married in St Lucia in 1988 and welcomed children Harley and Roman in 1989 and 1993 respectively – and George was reportedly godfather to them both. He sadly passed away on Christmas Day in 2016.

martin kemp shirlie kids© Photo: Instagram

Martin and Shirlie now share two children, Harley and Roman

They renewed their vows in 2013 and Martin told HELLO! the secret to their happy marriage is friendship.

"Everyone says, 'What's the secret?' but I think it's about not just looking after the love between you but looking after the friendship as well.

"I think friendship is the bedrock of everything. I treat Shirley in the same way as I treat my friends, and I don't want to lose them. Love comes out of that. We love each other dearly and we've been together for over 40 years now so yeah, it's nice. I think love gets better the older you get."

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