George Michael’s former bandmate Andrew Ridgley attacked a documentary about the singer's last days screened on British TV last night as “mucky” and “insensitive.”
But British network Channel 5 defended the show, entitled The Last Days of George Michael, saying it was “a measured account of the days preceding his death.”
Although some fans voiced their support for the show, saying it revealed Michael’s warm personality and generous acts of charity, Ridgley, who collaborated with Michael in the band Wham! which had era-defining hits such as “Last Christmas” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” slammed the broadcaster in a series of tweets.
He expressed dismay that the program had been broadcast before Michael’s funeral, which is expected to take place in the next few days.
A Channel 5 spokesperson told MailOnline: “George Michael was a high-profile public figure and there has been legitimate public interest in the circumstances surrounding his death, which have already been widely reported across the news media.
“The Last Days of George Michael is a measured account of the days preceding his death in December and of his musical career and his personal life, including his philanthropy, based on contributions from those who knew him and reported on him over many decades.”
However most fans appeared ready to follow Ridgley’s lead and lined up to slam the doc.
The show included an interview with The Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone, who interviewed Michael on several occasions, and recalled: “There was a real bleakness to him, a real sadness to him. You felt he’d died before he’d had a chance to get his life back together.”
His friend Paul Gambaccini spoke about about “the increased role of drugs in his life,” saying that Michael would tell friends “I’m a stoner.”
Despite the criticisms of many fans, others praised the film as a revealing and touching portrait of the troubled star.