Boy George back on The Voice and 'getting there' with rebuilding his career


Boy George, who will be back in the spotlight as a new judge on The Voice, has said he is "getting there" in attempts to rebuild his career in the UK.

The Culture Club star, who fell foul of the law on both sides of the Atlantic, said America regarded that as "over" and there were also improvements in his image in Britain though there was "no margin of error".

In recent years he has had highly publicised brushes with the authorities, receiving community service in the US in 2006 for falsely reporting a burglary at his flat, and serving four months in prison in Britain in 2009 for assault and false imprisonment.

In the early 1980s Culture Club were one of the biggest bands of their day, with a string of hits including Karma Chameleon and Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?

But by the middle of the decade George's career was falling apart as he battled heroin addiction, although he went on to have solo hits and had further success as a DJ.

George, 54, whose real name is George O'Dowd, told The Times magazine that when he received the call to be a judge on The Voice, he was planning to go to live in Los Angeles.

"I kind of felt like, 'I'm going to America, they are going to fall in love with me and then my own country is going to scream for me to come back'.

"When I went back to New York for the first time (after doing his community service there), I fully expected every TV programme to show footage of me sweeping up the city. They just didn't do it and I thought 'that's amazing'. I was really shocked. It was like, 'You did this. It's over. You did your community service. We don't want to talk about it any more'. That's why I love America."

He says of Britain: "We're getting there over here. I've always been insanely optimistic. But I do remember saying to myself, 'You have to make this right. You have to rebuild this, brick by brick. Everything. Myself. My career. My life'."

And he adds: "There is no margin of error."

:: A new series of The Voice starts on BBC One on January 9.