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From the town of Bushey to Wembley Stadium, the history of Wham! is an incredible story of how two boys became Britain’s biggest pop icons in the ‘80s.
Netflix’s new documentary film Wham will revisit the story of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley and how the duo conquered the world with their soulful pop hits.
The film will cover an incredible 4 years which took Michael and Ridgeley from school friends with big dreams in 1982 to performing a final sell-out concert at Wembley Stadium in 1986.
Directed by Chris Smith (Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened), the film is described as the first Wham documentary told “in their own words”, using access to personal archives from both band members.
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When is Wham released on Netflix?
Wham is coming to Netflix on Wednesday, 5 July, 2023.
The series is released almost 40 years to the day that the group’s debut album Fantastic was released.
It will be released on Netflix globally.
What is the Netflix Wham documentary film about?
The Netflix’s Wham! film will reveal how George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley went from “school friends to superstars”.
Netflix’s description of the documentary reveals: “Their time in the spotlight was white-hot, becoming the very first western pop act to play in China. It was a time that both encapsulated and epitomised not just their youth, but also those of the many millions of fans that adored them.”
The documentary includes “unprecedented access to both George and Andrew’s personal archive including remarkable and never-before-seen footage” and “rare, candid and previously unheard interviews”.
Wham! pop trivia
- Michael and Ridgeley met at Bushey Meads School and before Wham! were in a ska group called The Executive
- They got their big break in 1982 on Top of the Pops with Young Guns (Go For It), when they were called in at the last minute to replace an act who pulled out
- Their classic festive hit Last Christmas is the 10th biggest-selling single of all time, according to the Official Charts Company
- Wham! got three US Billboard Chart number 1s – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Careless Whisper, and Everything She Wants
Who is making the Netflix Wham documentary?
The film is being directed by Chris Smith, who previously made Netflix hit documentaries Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened and Operation Varsity Blues.
He also made the 2022 4-part documentary series Branson.
John Battsek (The Deepest Breath, FIFA Uncovered) and Simon Halfon (Supersonic) are the producers.
Who were Wham! and why did they split up?
Wham! were an ‘80s British pop duo, who consisted of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley.
They formed in 1981 and became one of the most commercially successful British acts of the decade. They sold over 30 million records between 1982 and 1986.
They released three albums, Fantastic (1983), Make It Big (1984) and Music from the Edge of Heaven (1986) and had six UK number one singles, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Careless Whisper, Freedom, Last Christmas, I’m Your Man and The Edge of Heaven
In 1985 they became the first Western pop group to perform in China and released the film, Wham! in China: Foreign Skies in 1986.
Both George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley appeared on stage at Live Aid in 1985, but they didn’t perform together as Wham!
The primary reason for the band splitting in 1986 was George Michael’s desire to create more personal music and star a solo career.
Michael described their split as “the most amicable split in pop history”.
The duo bowed out with a greatest hits album, The Final, and a farewell concert at Wembley Stadium, performed to over 70,000 fans.
George Michael would go on to become one of the biggest popstars on the planet, but remained close friends with Ridgeley up to his death on Christmas Day, 2016.
Watch Wham on Netflix from 5 July, 2023.
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