The Culture Club frontman was desperate to land a role on hit U.K. singing contest The Voice because he believed a respected position with such an esteemed institution as the BBC would fully restore his reputation after a difficult few years.

In 2005, he was arrested in New York for cocaine possession, although the charge was later dropped, and in 2008 he was jailed for 15 months for assault and false imprisonment over an attack on a Norwegian man in his London apartment.

The singer has since been working hard to rebuild his public image, but he was convinced his ultimate "redemption" of a BBC job would never happen as corporation bosses would not want to be associated with him too closely.

He tells British newspaper The Sun, "I was really shocked that I got the job. I'd heard some of the names I was up against. I'm not going to say who, but I did think: 'Oh, I won't get it if I'm up against that one.' To be honest, I never thought I'd get a gig on the BBC. Over the past couple of years, I've been approached by pretty much every one of these shows - American Idol, a couple of The Voices (sic) internationally - but this was the one that we wanted. I said: 'If I get a job on the BBC, I'm home, that's redemption'."