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George halts Australia tour to battle anxiety

GEORGE Michael has cancelled his shows in Australia, saying he was wrong to think he could work through the "major anxiety" that has plagued him since his life-threatening battle with pneumonia.

The singer, who nearly died last year, was due to take his Symphonica tour down under in November and December, but in a statement on his website he said he could no longer go through with them.

The statement said: "I have today announced the cancellation of the shows in Australia which breaks my heart.


"By way of explanation all I can say at this time is that 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 but 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.

"Unfortunately I seriously underestimated how difficult this year would be and although I was right to believe that the shows would bring me great happiness and that my voice would recover completely,

"I was wrong to think I could work my way through the major anxiety that has plagued me since I left Austria last December."

He added that he apologised to his "wonderful Australian fan base" and promised to receive the treatment he feels he needs after he has carried out his shows in the UK.

Michael (49) began his tour last year but pulled out when he became dangerously ill.

The tour began in Prague and saw him play 45 shows in 35 cities before it was cancelled.