Wham! star Andrew Ridgeley's life in Cornwall (2023)

Andrew Ridgeley's life in Cornwall is proof that you can be a world-famous celebrity and still enjoy a quiet existence out of the spotlight. The former Wham! star's almost 30 years of living in the Wadebridge area is also proof that Cornish people don't pay much attention to glitz and glamour and welcome anyone on their own merits as long as they embed themselves in the community.

That's exactly what George Michael's partner in chart-topping music has done. Over the years, Andrew - who now resembles a particularly dapper 59-year-old solicitor or surgeon rather than a former pop star - has been a regular at the local Co-op and Regal Cinema in Wadebridge, a keen surfer at Constantine Bay and a fan of a pint of Oakham Ale in the Quarryman Inn.

A keen supporter of local charities, Andrew has long been a popular member of the Wadebridge community with residents and neighbours quick to tell you what a lovely chap he is.

Read more: Music stars with connections to Cornwall

For those who have never visited Club Tropicana over the past 40 years, Andrew was one of the most instantly recognisable faces of the 1980s alongside George in Wham! The duo formed in Bushey in Hertfordshire and went on to sell more than 30 million records worldwide between 1982 and 1986, with evergreen hits including Last Christmas, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and Careless Whisper.

After Wham! split, allowing George to start a solo career, Andrew moved to Monaco and tried his hand at Formula Three motor racing, which proved unsuccessful. After a short period in LA, he moved back to England in 1990 and released his one and only solo album, Son of Albert, which was panned by critics and failed to dent the charts as a result.

It wasn't long after this that he got together with Bananarama's Keren Woodward, moving to a farmhouse near Wadebridge in 1994 with Keren's then 10-year-old son, Thomas. He soon got stuck into North Cornwall life, enjoying the odd round of golf at the Trevose course, near Padstow, where, according to the Daily Mail, his golfing buddies gave him the nickname Osama Bin Laden due to his dark looks and grey hair.

(Video) Wham!'s Andrew Ridgeley reveals George Michael secrets | 60 Minutes Australia

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A local spoke to the Mail about Andrew's love of surfing: "Occasionally if he falls off, he gets someone shouting 'Wham! Bam! I am a man!' but less and less as every year goes by. The thing about surfing is that it's a great leveller. Everyone just wants to crack open a beer and talk about the waves - and Andy's as up for that as anyone."

A regular at the Quarryman Inn, one of Andrew's favourite drinking holes, told the paper in 2007: "Andrew doesn't play the celebrity card in any way and never has. He has never opened a fete, or done the big I Am, or drawn attention to himself. He is just one of the locals and so we try to respect his privacy."

Wham! star Andrew Ridgeley's life in Cornwall (1)

It wasn't long before Andrew's parents Albert and Jenny moved from Bushey to a house a couple of miles away from their son in Wadebridge. The couple's first home in Bushey was where the band's number one hit Careless Whisper was written by Andrew and George.

Albert, who died in 2015 aged 82, shared Andrew's dapper style and bore a striking resemblance to his son. He was unwilling to talk about Andrew's Cornish life when the Mail once went snooping.

(Video) Andrew Ridgeley Reveals Why Wham! Split Up | This Morning

"I don't feel I should," said Albert, who played percussion in the brass band at St Minver. "The thing is, he's rather shy. He came down here to get away from it all." Andrew's mum passed away in Wadebridge in 2009 aged 66, 11 years after the couple had moved to the area.

A couple of years ago someone asked on a Facebook page dedicated to Wadebridge if anybody had ever seen Andrew shopping in the town. Of course, loads of people had as he'd very much become a much-loved local by then, with many locals commenting he loved a pint in the Quarryman pub and bought loads of cat food from Co-op on a regular basis. Residents shared tales demonstrating how Andrew is friendly and approachable.

One Wadebridge resident said: "Regularly see him, he's just a normal bloke going about his business but always smiles and chats. His dad was lovely a true gentleman and used to be a marshall on carnival night."

I had my own close encounter with the former Wham! man once. I realised the handsome chap stood next to me in the chocolate aisle at Tesco in Truro was indeed Mr Ridgeley and, no, he hadn't dropped a careless Wispa.

Wham! star Andrew Ridgeley's life in Cornwall (2)

I interviewed Andrew's then-partner Keren five years ago when she was rehearsing for a Bananarama reunion tour. She told me: “I’ve lived in Cornwall for over 20 years – I moved to Cornwall to re-balance myself after the madness of the ’80s. I’m pretty much a local now."

(Video) Wham! star Andrew Ridgeley packs on some very steamy PDA

The tabloids reported in 2015 that the couple had split but had a change of heart and had got back together. However, the pop star couple separated for good in 2017.

Keren told me soon afterwards: “Yes, we’ve gone our separate ways, these things happen unfortunately, but we still speak. In fact, I saw him recently when I was back home; we still both live in Cornwall. He’s actually coming to quite a few of the dates on the Bananarama tour.”

In 1997, Andrew told Hello about his relationship with George: "Unfortunately (our friendship) doesn’t extend quite as far as it used to. And that’s purely down to the fact that our lives have taken different routes since Wham! split. He spends a lot of time abroad, and I tend not to leave Cornwall these days. But we speak on the phone every now and again, and I saw him earlier this year."

It is thought that their relationship grew stronger in the ensuing years until George's tragic death in 2016. A year after George's passing, Andrew said: “The shock and disbelief were overwhelming. I had lost my parents in recent years and yet, this was entirely different, a loss I had not contemplated, a loss that was inconceivable, one so abysmally sad that in that moment I was consumed by it.”

Wham! star Andrew Ridgeley's life in Cornwall (3)

In the Hello interview, Andrew said: "I often came on holidays to the West Country with my family, as a child, so it’s always held an affection for me. And I took up surfing seven years ago, which brought me down to the West Country. I’d always fancied living near water, preferably the sea.

(Video) Andrew Ridgeley on His Friendship With George Michael | Loose Women

"We live on a farm. There’s a fair bit of land which we let out. So most of the time these days I seem to spend on some form of paperwork, whether it’s the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries or just general administration and keeping the place running. I’m also in partnership with a friend in a surf clothing and accessories business in France, where we have a shop. Otherwise, both Keren and I are lucky in having a lot of time to ourselves."

Andrew was asked if he ever got bored in Cornwall. "No, I don’t. There is an infinite number of things one can do down here. We thoroughly enjoy the countryside and the lifestyle here."

Wham! star Andrew Ridgeley's life in Cornwall (4)

In 2019, Andrew had his first new hit for 30 years - his autobiography Wham! George & Me became a best seller. In the book, he speaks movingly about the effect his friend's death on Christmas Day 2016 had on him.

"The reality felt catastrophic and it was hard to get a handle on what had happened. For the next couple of days I felt lost and stayed in London because the press had descended upon my home in Cornwall. But I wasn't in a position to talk about George at that time. I felt crushed by sadness."

The former pop star is now a keen cyclist and does a lot of fundraising racing for the Dallaglio RugbyWorks Charity, which helps marginalised young people. It is also believed that Andrew has found love again with Amanda Caroline Skincare co-founder and fashion influencer Amanda Cronin, 45.

(Video) George Michael Tribute Brits Awards 2017

Read more:

  • White Christmas review: snow falls in November in Cornwall
  • Dawn French announces two shows in Cornwall
  • New Hall for Cornwall season features Mamma Mia! and Rocky Horror
  • Christmas in Cornwall means pantos, festive shows and concerts
  • Tickets selling fast for Cornwall's biggest New Year's Eve party


1. Andrew Ridgeley on his friendship with George Michael | The Ray D'Arcy Show | RTÉ One
2. Wham! star andrew ridgeley and bananarama’s keren woodward break up| Breaking News TV
(Breaking News 247)
3. How Andrew Ridgeley helped George Michael face his battles | 60 Minutes Australia
(60 Minutes Australia)
4. Wham! - Club Tropicana (Official Video)
5. WHAM! In the 80s George Michael & Andrew Ridgeley Make it BIG | Pop Fix | Professor of Rock
(Professor of Rock)
6. Andrew Ridgeley - Shake (Extended)
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