Wham! George and Me by Andrew Ridgeley (Michael Joseph/Penguin, £18.00)

Wham! were an interesting phenomenon: 80s teen pop sensations with a built-in use-by date, both members recognising how ephemeral the band would be, with one determined to go solo and achieve worldwide mega stardom and the other… well this is his story and it makes for a fascinating read.

Surprisingly, in the early days, it was actually Andrew who took the lead in forming a band, rehearsing and writing music, whereas his childhood friend Yog (George Michael) delayed and deferred, under the watchful eye of parents who favoured studying over music.

As Wham! found fame, with John Peel and Saturday Superstore both playing a part, the dynamic of the band changed, and Andrew retired from song writing at the age of 20, in the face of George’s talent.

Although this premature retirement was a cause for regret in Andrew’s life, along with the lack of a third Wham! album, the story of George’s road to success is told here with real affection and good grace. Andrew always roots for his childhood friend, even when his own solo album and motor racing career both come to nothing.

George is painted with a broad palette: a great talent capable of holding his own with the very best, a sensitive individual upset at being admonished by Paul Weller during Band Aid, a wearer of inadvisable “John Craven” jumpers, and a man constantly over-obsessed with how his hair looks. Ridgeley is a very amiable narrator and humour is never far from the surface.

For the music fan in your family, this is an engaging tale of how two pop fans from Bushey (with occasional trips to Watford) conquered the world, and a genuine tribute from one friend to another. Signed copies available while stock lasts.

Tim Curtis