This weekend’s X Factor live shows will be dedicated to George Michael

British singer George Michael

The X Factor is to pay tribute to singing legend George Michael.

This weekend’s live shows will be themed around the Wham! frontman, who died suddenly on Christmas Day 2016.

Contestants will perform some of his most famous songs on Saturday and Sunday.

The news comes just two weeks after he scored a posthumous number one album with Listen Without Prejudice.

George appeared on the ITV talent show himself back in 2009.

He performed with gay X Factor contestant Joe McElderry shortly before he won the show in front of millions of viewers.

McElderry now says he treasures the time they spent together as performers.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, he said: “I was so shocked,” he says.

“To work with him first of all was incredible, but I was just a fan, full stop.

“I’d have been just as upset if I hadn’t worked with him because I was a massive fan.

“I admired him and his music, and he was such a lovely, humble man which made it 10 times sadder.”

The pair had one of the great duets of X Factor history in the 2009 final.

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An estimated 20 million tuned in for the extraordinary moment – the most-watched episode in the show’s long history.

However it would be the only time McElderry crossed paths with the global Wham! star.

He said: “We spent an hour-and-a-half in the dressing room.

“We had a great chat and a cup of tea and discussed the industry.

“I’m sure if I would have bumped into him we’d have had a lovely catch-up, but I never did meet him again.

“I’ll always treasure that time and how lovely he was – it was an overwhelming experience.”