Boy George didn't enjoy fame.

The 52-year-old pop star - who shot to stardom as a member of Culture Club in the 1980s - struggled with his hectic schedule and the pitfalls that can accompany a showbiz lifestyle and he feels more control of his life now he has kicked drugs and booze.

He said: ''It (fame) was mental. I don't think I enjoyed it very much. That's the difference between now and then. I really enjoy what I do, I have control over it and I don't do everything. Back then, I was getting up in the morning, doing a hundred interviews, flying here, flying there. To start with it was really exciting but at a certain point you realise you're having a breakdown.

''My policy now is, 'What would Bowie do?' or, 'What would the Queen Mother say?' ... which is basically nothing. I have much more of a sense of where I want to go.''

The 'Karma Chameleon' hitmaker served time in prison in recent years for falsely imprisoning a male escort and battled cocaine addiction and he admits he fell into a ''dark'' place in his life.

George - who is releasing his first new album of original material for 18 years, 'This Is What I Do', in October - confessed to Q magazine: ''There was a period when people avoided me; friends would cross the street to swerve me. The energy around me was just so dark, so negative, that no one wanted to be around me. There's nothing great about being a ****, it's just not a nice thing to be. I'm not saying I was a complete **** but people want to be around me now.''