It may come as a surprise to many fans and observers, but apparently there’s been nothing the least bit gay or homoerotic in anything that George Michael has ever released before, he’d like us to believe. Indeed, he apparently finds it hard to forgive himself for the public disgraces he has brought upon himself of late and fears that he’s damaged the ability of young gay people to be open and proud about their sexuality.

He told reporters at a press conference to announce a European Tour that “I have a really serious problem with the fact that when I brought myself down, I felt I was letting young gay kids down. My behaviour meant these kids suffered abuse and the homophobic language that is legal in this country.”

“My next album will seek to correct the damage I inadvertently caused by making myself so newsworthy and, because I am so high-profile, leaving no room for young kids to protect themselves from that language,” he added. “I have plans to do this to help gay children. We’re notoriously bad as a community in helping children, because we don’t have our own children.”

As an act of contrition and remorse, he’s intending to start work on a “gay collaborative” album, in which he intends to work together with young, unknown gay and “gay-friendly” artists. Michael has not exactly had an unblemished record of late, serving time in jail for repeatedly driving under the influence of drugs and also being busted for flashing his old feller at undercover police officers while cruising for anonymous gay sex in public.

His favourite cruising spots to date appear to be London’s Hampstead Heath and public toilets in Los Angeles’ Beverley Hills area judging by the charge sheets and convictions he’s clocked up in those locations.