I went to school with a chap called George Michael. He was of Greek Cypriot origin as well, but he was not THE George Michael who we sadly lost on Christmas Day.

I know his private life had its ups and downs and some people may not have approved, but as a singer, songwriter and musician, he was one of the greats. Whether with Wham! or as a solo artist he performed the soundtrack for the lives of tens of millions of people around the world.

But tragically, it is not only George Michael who we’ve lost this year. Fellow musical icons such as Prince, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen passed away and will never be replaced - they all had a profound impression on music.

They changed music, art and fashion in ways very few other artists have over the years and, to be honest, much of the music produced today is very shallow compared to what these great artists wrote, sang and performed. They were real songwriters and storytellers and I can say that I saw all four perform live - there are few acts about today I would pay to see.

And who will ever forget Andrew Sachs, Alan Rickman, Terry Wogan, Victoria Wood, Ronnie Corbett, Gene Wilder, A.A. Gill, Harper Lee, Muhammad Ali, Rick Parfitt and Zsa Zsa Gabor?

No one, and their names and what they brought to our lives and the world will live on forever.

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