George Michael fans petition for Hampstead Heath tribute bench from ‘Extras’

Late singer passed away on Christmas Day 2016

George Michael fans are campaigning for a special memorial bench near his home on Hampstead Heath.

An online petition has been launched to try and persuade the City of London Corporation, which manages the heath, to agree to the idea.

Lead campaigner Tony Antoniou said the vast green open space was an important place for the star to relax and have “time to himself”.

He wrote on the petition’s website: “George Michael loved Hampstead Heath park so much. It was his favourite park and he would often go there for some time to himself.

“I now want to pay further tribute to George Michael with your kind support. His fans will love this and will agree to it.

“It’s the least they can do as this was his favourite and local park.”

More than 700 people have signed the petition so far.

Michael famously appeared in a scene with Ricky Gervais at Hampstead Heath for the Christmas Special of Extras in 2007.

The scene begins with Gervais – as Andy Millman – strolling through Hampstead Heath after an audition. He comes across “the waiting bench” and soon finds out it’s a spot for gay men to find sexual partners.

George Michael appears as himself, asking if there’s “any action” at the bench, before revealing he’s on his lunch break from community service. When Gervais asks him what he did, Michael reveals it was for fly-tipping Annie Lennox’s fridge-freezer.

When asked how he got caught by the police, Michael says “Sting called the fucking council because he’s a fucking do-gooder.” As he leaves the bench to check out another area of the park, he asks Gervais to “keep an eye out for paparazzi”.

Michael was previously caught engaged in a “lewd act” by a police officer in a toilet in Beverly Hills back in 1998.

The late singer pleaded no contest to the charge and was fined $810 and sentenced to 80 hours of community service. The arrest led Michael to reveal that he was gay.

George Michael passed away on 25 December 2016. He was 53. A post-mortem to investigate his cause of death came back inconclusive. It has since been revealed that he planned to release a new album in 2017.