George Michael: I want to start again

Pop star George Michael said today that he wanted to "start again" after being released from prison.

The 47-year-old singer said it was "fantastic" to be free after serving half of his eight-week sentence for crashing his Range Rover while high on cannabis.

The former Wham! star, whose real name is Georgios Panayiotou, said he wanted to stop running away from the press now that he had been released from Highpoint Prison in Suffolk.

Speaking outside his home in north London, he told reporters: "I'm coming out here on my own so that you'll realise I just want to start again.

"I'm going to try to stop running away from you guys. You'll get sick of me. You'll see me about."

He said it was "fantastic" to be free, that he wanted to "go out", and added: "It's a beautiful day.

"I just want to say thank you for everybody who has supported me in there, it's quite inspirational."

As he walked back through the gates of his home, Michael joked: "By the way, I've just thought of a really good idea for a song."

He added: "It's going to be nothing to do with prison."

Michael was moved to the softer Category C Highpoint, where Moors Murderer Myra Hindley served the last three years of her life sentence, from Pentonville in north London last month.

He was jailed on September 14 after he admitted driving while unfit through drugs and possessing two cannabis cigarettes when he appeared at London's Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court.

He was found slumped at the wheel of a car after it smashed into a branch of photo store Snappy Snaps in north London in July.

The singer, who had a previous conviction for the same offence, was told by District Judge John Perkins that there was no option but jail.

The Prison Service refused to comment on individual prisoners.