UK & World News
George Michael Pulls Out Of Australian Tour
George Michael has cancelled the Australian leg of his Symphonica tour, revealing to fans that he is battling "major anxiety" after the pneumonia that almost killed him.
Michael, 49, said he was heartbroken to have to cancel the dates, which were postponed last year due to the illness which kept him in an Austrian hospital for a month.
However, the singer appeared reluctant to answer questions about his health from Sky's Lucy Cotter ahead of a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Saturday.
Michael has completed a string of dates across Europe since August. His nine UK dates planned for October will still go ahead.
The Australian tour was due to kick off in Perth on November 10 with concerts planned in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, finishing at the Hope Estate Winery in Hunter Valley on December 1.
A statement on the singer's website said: "Since last year's illness I have tried in vain to work my way through the trauma that the doctors who saved my life warned me I would experience.
"They recommended complete rest and the type of post traumatic counselling which is available in cases like mine.
"I'm afraid I believed (wrongly) that making music and getting out there to perform for the audiences that bring me such joy would be therapy enough in itself.
"Unfortunately I seriously underestimated how difficult this year would be."
He went on: "Although I was right to believe that the shows would bring me great happiness and that my voice would recover completely (I truly think that some of my recent performances have been my best ever), I was wrong to think I could work my way through the major anxiety that has plagued me since I left Austria last December."
Michael added: "All that's left for me to do is apologise to my wonderful Australian fan base."
He went on to "promise faithfully that as soon as I completed these shows here in the UK I will receive the treatment which is so long overdue".
Michael spent a month in Vienna General Hospital's intensive care unit after being taken ill while on his Symphonica tour there at the end of 2011.
Earlier in September he performed in Vienna, telling the audience it was "good to be alive".
The Faith singer is believed to have given the hospital a thousand tickets for the show.
The near-death experience inspired Michael's single White Light, which he performed at the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games.
Fans in Australia will be given full refunds for their tickets, although those with Perth tickets have been offered the chance to se Elton John instead. He will fill Michael's November 10 slot.