It seems, from the photos of Simon Cowell and Jonathan Ross leaving George Michael’s Highgate home on Monday night, that George Michael might be figuring out his first major appearance in front of the UK public since leaving jail.
The press speculation makes sense. For sure, George would expect a “special” episode of any chat show he appeared on to talk about an event like this. His previous preferred interviewer, Michael Parkinson, is: a) retired; and b) refused him a special episode for his most recent appearance. Jonathan Ross is currently the biggest interviewer in the UK, but he was recently forced out of his job on the BBC, and is currently signed to ITV for future projects. George and Jonathan have some history – George pulled out of Ross’s BBC One show at short notice, leading to a rift between the two. However, they put their differences aside over dinner at The Ivy some time ago. So, they’re friends again, which is useful when doing this kind of interview.
Simon Cowell is a long-time fan of George. He’s had him be the main attraction of the final’s of both American Idol in the US, and X-Factor in the UK. He regards him as an artist who has achieved everything that any artist could ever want to achieve in their career. Cowell is also one of the biggest power brokers on the ITV network, with his shows being pretty much the only shows that get decent ratings on on the network. So, if Cowell is on-side for an ITV project, George will know the show will get the attention George thinks it deserves.
However, this project is not without risk. Almost all ITV programming is fucking horrible, lowest common denominator rubbish. The challenge for George, Jonathan and Simon is to make any show they do together very different to the network’s usual output… So can ITV make a classy show? Time will tell…