George Michael For Rover’s Return

George Michael began the U.K. leg of his European tour by shifting nearly 50,000 tickets across three sellout shows at Manchester Evening News Arena, while The Star reported that his next visit to the city could be an appearance in “Coronation Street.”

A few of the cast from the popular TV soap opera were backstage to meet him on the opening night and the paper said he’ll be going back to the local Granada studios to shoot a cameo role.

If the pop idol does happen to wander into The Rover’s Return, the program’s centerpiece boozer, it will presumably be before all U.K. pubs become no-smoking zones in the summer.

MENA general manager John Knight echoed the words of several European promoters, including Flemming Schmidt of Denmark’s DKB Concertpromotion and Chrissie Uerlings from Germany’s Peter Rieger, by saying Michael’s show was one of the best they’ve seen for a long time.

He described it as “a stunning performance” and said it was “one of the best in the venue’s 11-year history.” Following on from Manchester shows (November 17-21), Michael played more full houses at Glasgow SECC (November 22nd), London’s Earls Court (November 25-29), Birmingham NEC Arena (December 2-4), finishing at London’s Wembley Arena (11-15).

— John Gammon