Back when James Corden was best known as Smithy from Gavin and Stacey, George Michael starred alongside him in a sketch for Comic Relief which would later form the origins of Carpool Karaoke.
The scene begins with Smithy receiving a call from Lenny Henry at Comic Relief who asks him to head to BBC Television Centre to help record a charity single. George asks if he can join him but gets turned down by Smithy on account of him being “an embarrassment”. George says the real reason for his rebuttal is because Smithy doesn’t “want to be seen with a gay man” and calls him – and Gavin and Stacey best mate Matt Horne – a “pair of closet bummers”.
The pair then belt out a couple of Wham! hits including ‘Baby, I’m Your Man’ as they drive around West London.
In this very short clip, you get a glimpse of George Michael’s strength of character. An ability to never take life too seriously and tackle criticism head on, were just some of the qualities that made him such an enduring and much-loved pop icon. RIP George Michael.