Jamie Tabberer

George Michael announces new tour, looks kind of fanciable

Not sure which we're more excited by

For a room full of hacks (among whom at least two thirds were probably gay), the tone at today's press conference with George Michael at London's Royal Opera House was notably generous.

"He looks so healthy and healthy!" whispered one hack; "He's so articulate and intelligent!" murmered another; "And so LUCID!" said a third, less diplomatic, individual. I'm not going to deny it: I'd even go as far as to say he looked rather attractive. On a tangent, can I just say: jeez, he was a looker in his youth wasn't he?

Basically, for a group of people whose jobs would've been made a whole lot easier had George arrived stoned/naked/slumped over a steering wheel, everyone seemed genuinely pleased to see with their own eyes that the pop veteran's in such a good place. That is, after the well documented series of 'personal problems' he's endured of late. Problems that have sporadically turned his life into a gay Carry On film and last year culminated in a prison sentence and the best bit of PR Snappy Snaps will ever receive.

It seemed even the Daily Mail journalist in the front row that George publicly heckled (HA) couldn't resist the Faith singer's charm. He too was enthused to learn of the new material that's in the pipeline, and of George's pending return to the stage.

He returns for Symphonica - The Orchestral Tour, which will see the 47-year-old donning his best tux and pushing the creative envelope when he performs, backed by a symphonic orchestra, reworked covers and songs from his own extensive back catalogue (Freeek! was underrated George - see below - give that one an airing) in an array of architecturally glorious venues. The tour kicks off in August and travels across Europe, including a handful of UK dates (Liverpool, Newcastle, Birmingham, Glasgow, and a London triple whammy: the O2 Arena, Royal Opera House and Royal Albert Hall) - for more info on the tour visit George's website).

George fended off questions about his not-so-private life like a seasoned pro ("Tweet me" was his stock response), although he did take the opportunity to apologise to some of the people who for better or for worse see him as a bit of a role model.

"Everytime I would let myself down I felt I was letting young gay kids down," he confessed. "They then witnessed the homophobia that was thrown at me, and the wording of that homophobia, the language that's legal in this country.

"[But] I like to think that life's a balance, and that for everything bad there's something good you can do with it. I've had some plans to do things to help gay children. I think we're notoriously bad as a community for helping our own when it comes to children because we don't have our own children, so there are things about this next album where I'm going to try and make up for some of the damage I've inadvertedly caused just by making myself so newsworthy."

Last year readers claimed they were dubious that George had turned a corner, and though he's known for his false modesty, today seemed like ample proof that he's managed it. While elsewhere some of his esteemed colleagues, like fellow 80s icon and ex-duet partner Whitney, are backtracking.

Good for you George. The best news of all: after decades of getting it wrong, you've finally found a way to pacify your fondness for dodgy eye-wear without compromising your handsome looks. Geek chic forever!

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He was a good looking young man and he still looks great and is still sexy I think. Love his singing too.

Added by FabianBlack

11/05/2011 17:53:32