Max George joins Strictly
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Strictly 2020: Who is Max George and when did he date Michelle Keegan?

The former Wanted singer is well known for his relationship with the Our Girl actress

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Strictly Come Dancing contestant Max George will no doubt be providing the male eye candy for some viewers in 2020.

The former Wanted singer – who is perhaps most famous for dating actress Michelle Keegan – admits he’s “not one for the dancefloor” as he joins 12 other contestants on Strictly.

Max George joins the cast of Strictly
Max George, famous for dating Michelle Keegan, is joining Strictly (Credit: Splash)

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing: BBC reveals ‘challenges’ of bringing 2020 series to our screens

Who is Max George?

Max – now 32 – is a singer and occasional actor, best known for being a member of boyband The Wanted. He is one of the 12 celebrities taking part in the 2020 series of Strictly Come Dancing.

After his participation was announced, he joked: “Buzzing to be on Strictly this year. Not really one for the dance floor, but I take a lot of comfort in the fact that Jay McGuiness set The Wanted’s bar so low….”

Of course, we all know that Jay won Strictly in 2015.

Maximillian Alberto George was born in 1988 in Manchester. Before becoming a popstar, he carved out a successful football career, playing for Preston North End until injury brought it to a premature end.

“I started playing football from a young age but, after being forced to quit football through injury, music was my only other passion,” He told I Love Manchester. “It was either football or music. I knew I wanted to do one or the other and I guess the decision was made for me.”

What is he known for?

George is best known for being one of the five all-singing, all-dancing hunks in boyband The Wanted.

The award-winning group had hits with Glad You Came, All Time Low, Chasing The Sun and had their own E! Channel documentary series, The Wanted Life.

He joined the cast of Glee in its sixth and final season as Clint, appearing in three episodes.

Max George Strictly Glee
Max starred in Glee, before joining Strictly in 2020 (Credit: Fox / YouTube)

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing: Claudia Winkleman admits she’s ‘waiting to be fired’

Who is he dating?

He was famously engaged to former Coronation Street star Michelle Keegan before Michelle married TOWIE’s Mark Wright.

However, these days he is with footballer Ryan Gigg’s ex-wife Stacey after being introduced by pals in 2018.

Moving in with Stacey and her daughter Liberty, 17, and son Zachary, 13, soon after.

Max describes Stacey as “the strongest person I’ve ever met” and admits that is in awe of her ability to deal with the breakdown of her marriage after allegations of cheating.

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Does Max have children?

Max doesn’t have kids of his own just yet, but admits that he has a great bond with Stacey’s children.

“We’re really close; we were close from day one,” he says. “With me moving in with Stacey – because that was her family home – and the kids, you become such a tight unit. We are getting closer every day.”

However, Max is keen to one day expand the fam! “I’ve always said I’ve wanted kids but never committed to it in my own head but I think Stacey’s the one. We would love to add to the family at some point, that would be amazing. Obviously there are no guarantees but I’m sure we both feel the same way.”

Why did Max split from Michelle Keegan?

Back in 2010, at the height of their fame, Max and Michelle embarked on a three-year headline-grabbing relationship. They got engaged on her birthday in 2011 but split suddenly a year after.

Max later said that he thought they had rushed into their relationship and blamed his boozing for the break up.

“I do tend to dive in full on, with everything in my life,” he once told The Sun. “I tried to kid myself it would work out okay, but the moment she said she didn’t want to be engaged any more I knew that something was wrong. It was a whirlwind. I don’t regret it because you shouldn’t regret anything you do. You learn.”

The star revealed during this tough time he had become increasingly dependent on booze as he tried to cope with the split.

“It spiralled out of control,” he said. “Having a conversation with someone drunk is very difficult. We weren’t making each other happy. It was on both sides.

“I had a real problem with drinking too much and that was, without doubt, the downfall of our relationship. I was drinking more to forget the fact I was with someone who wasn’t making me that happy.”

Max George joins the cast of Strictly 2020
Max George with his The Wanted bandmates Jay McGuiness and Tom Parker (Credit: SplashNews.com)

Is Max George a bad boy?

Strictly’s Max says he is aware that the press have branded him a bad boy in the past but he swears they have got the wrong idea about him.

“The words bad boy have always been used with me but I’m not very bad at all, to be honest,” he says. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m the world’s most perfect boyfriend. We all have our flaws.”

He says that when he was papped with a girl around the time he was seeing Michelle, the papers got the wrong end of the stick.

“A picture of me was published with some blonde girl in a club in Newcastle, but I wasn’t with Michelle at the time – it was actually two months after we split up,” he has since explained. “We hadn’t told anyone because she wanted to be able to get over it without anyone interfering. There was no betrayal in terms of cheating, but I made some bad decisions.”

Did Max George really date Mark Wright’s ex Lucy Mecklenburgh?

In a weird twist of fate, when Michelle Keegan started dating Mark Wright, Max ended up having a brief romance with Mark’s ex and TOWIE star Lucy Mecklenburgh.

“I remember someone telling me about the partner swap and thinking it’s a bit weird,” he remembers. “But to be fair, I had no idea. Not that I would have cared about that. Lucy’s a real sweetheart; she is a top girl and I would never say a bad word about her.”

Sadly, the relationship was short-lived, though: “We had a couple of dates and met up a few times,  but I don’t think she ever saw a spark in me. We both just knew it wasn’t going to last.”

Max George with his band Avenue, who never quite reached the levels of fame as The Wanted (Credit: Splash)

Did he date Lindsay Lohan?

As a handsome fella, so it’s no surprise that he has had a selection of beautiful girlfriends over the years. With his growing global fame, he was linked to Hollywood wild child Lindsay Lohan. But were they a thing, as the press suggested?

Max says nothing happened between them. “Me and Lindsay have never been together,” Max told a newspaper. “There was never any form of love, it wasn’t even a casual thing, it was a friend thing.”

However, he did admit that they met at the worst time possible. “I actually met her during the period I was drinking a lot. We were probably the two worst people to come together because of that.

“But we had so much in common at the time that we became great friends so fast. We’re still friends and I think we will be for ever.” 

Why was Max George in therapy?

The experience of being in a global boy band wasn’t always an easy ride and at one point it led him to seeking therapy.

“I’ve had therapy throughout The Wanted and afterwards,” he has admitted. “I see counsellors when I’m not suffering from any problems as well. It’s not just a therapy for anxiety but just to help me feel good.”

Max says he first suffered a meltdown after the group’s debut single All Time Low hit the top spot in 2010. “I struggled for about three months. We got to number one and it was everything we dreamed of but I didn’t know how to handle it.”

“I couldn’t sleep and felt anxious all the time. Thankfully I had the right people around me otherwise I could have gone insane.”

In spite of dreaming of success, he found it very hard to live with.

Max George joins Strictly
Max George joins Strictly after finding fame with boyband The Wanted (Credit: Splash)

When did Max turn to acting?

After the band split, Max upped sticks and went to LA to pursue an acting career. To ensure that he had more of a chance of landing roles, he enrolled in elocution classes to tone down his strong Mancunian accent. The result? He landed the role of Clint in Glee.

“I’m really happy out here and Glee was one of my first auditions,” he told The Sun at the time. “To get that and be hanging around with people such as Jane Lynch and Matthew Morrison has been the best experience for me.”

Despite starring in one of the world’s most popular shows, Max admitted that he really wanted to appear in a homegrown drama.

“I do miss my family though and I’m still auditioning for roles in the UK. I’d be up for being in a soap, definitely,” he said. “I’ve always been a big fan of them and I won’t have to perform an American accent.”

His dream role? “To star in a sequel to The Greatest Showman,” he told The Sun. “I love that film and have watched it more than 20 times. I would also like to do a more gritty movie but, for now, music is my priority.”

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing: Claudia Winkleman admits she’s ‘waiting to be fired’

Has Max George got any A-List friends?

During his time in the US, he was lucky enough to be mixing in the right circles. “I have met Tom Hanks, randomly,” he recalls. “It was on a murder mystery night. My agent Scooter Braun is friends with him and he said to come round and when I walked in Tom was just sat there. He was so perfect, I thought I was seeing him at Madame Tussauds. He was so cool.

“I don’t know if I was drunk or in awe of him but the night was a blur. I talked to him about work a little.”

Tom Hanks isn’t the only A-lister Max has hung out with. He also struck up a bond with Hollywood wild man Mickey Rourke.

“Me and Jay went out one night in London and ended up being out with Mickey until 10am the next day,” he remembers.

In spite of their wild night, he said that Mickey gave him the best advice: “He just said ‘don’t become an [bleep]’.”

Has Max George released solo music?

After his time in the US, Max decided to relaunch his music career as a solo artist, inspired by R&B superstar Jason Derulo.

“I had no intention of going solo when The Wanted split in 2014 but I kept on songwriting, while trying my hand at acting and modelling,” he says.

“It was a chance call from singer Jason Derulo, who was putting a label together which inspired me to pursue music again. I got talking to him and thought ‘I can do that’ so my dad and I put a label together.”

Did he date Meghan Markle?

In 2019  reports claimed that, before she met Prince Harry, Meghan Markle had pursued Max after striking up a friendship on Twitter.

Apparently after spitting from her first husband Trevor Engelson, the Suits star was intent on bagging herself a Brit fella.

A ‘source’ told The Sun: “Meghan was reaching out to a number of celebrities in the UK as she spent more time there.

“Max was one of the biggest stars in pop music at the time and they connected on Twitter.”

However, replying to the rumours on This Morning, Max was adamant the story wasn’t true.

“I don’t know where that came from,” he told Phillip and Holly. “There was nothing from my side.”

When pushed by Phil, the star replied with a glint in his eye: “No, there’s nothing in it.”

Are The Wanted planning a reunion?

Max has spoken about getting the band back together. In 2019, he teased that he, Tom Parker and Jay McGuiness chatted about reuniting from time to time.

“It’s always something that I bring up because I speak to Tom and Jay quite a lot,” he said. “It always gets mentioned, like we always say, ‘are we going to do it or what?’ but obviously it’s not just up to us three.”

Strictly is back on our screen on Saturday 17 October

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