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Thu Apr 20 2006 21:07:37 ET

Singer George Michael has joked about his recent brush with the law - saying ``I'm a terrible driver' - while blaming Sir Elton John for his recent troubles.

Michael, 42, denied suggestions that he was going off the rails and made light of the weekend's accident with three parked cars.

The ex Wham! star, who has been reported to be on the edge of a breakdown, told chat show host Michael Parkinson that he had never felt better as he announced his first tour in 15 years.

Michael's personal life hit the headlines this week only two months after he was found slumped at the wheel of a car at Hyde Park Corner in central London, and cautioned for possession of cannabis.

During the programme, recorded last night, the tanned and svelte-looking pop star dismissed the crash, which took place while behind the wheel of his Range Rover, as a ``parking accident'.

Michael said other drivers saw the positive side of being involved in a car accident with the pop star.

He said: ``I'm used to people, if I hit their car in any way, they see me and just start to grin. Because they think, `Well I can bump this up a bit'.

``The poor people whose parked cars slammed into each other this week, they've all be told that they're welcome to use a hire car, and I don't suppose they'll be getting Nissan Micras.'

He said of the Easter Sunday incident: ``I got into my parked car, which was on a very steep hill I have to add, took the handbrake off, tried to manoeuvre out and hit the car in front of me.

``I didn't know that it hit the car in front of it, and hit the car in front of that.'

He dismissed claims that he rushed away and didn't tell anybody as ``rubbish'.

``By yesterday I had people calling me, frantically trying to find out if I was in hospital or not. I literally had a parking accident.

``The policeman had to interview me because the newspapers said I'd done a bunk.

``They (the police) were perfectly reasonable about it. How many times have you had someone hit your car and not try to pay for it? At the end of the day, I did what I was supposed to do.'

Michael said he had been duetting with Tony Bennett just before the bizarre Hyde Park incident in February, adding: ``It's a very strange life.

``One minute I was singing live with this legendary 80-year-old performer. Within six hours I was standing with these drunks saying, `I'm really all right'.

``It was nothing really, but again it becomes this massive drama.'

Michael reopened wounds with Sir Elton on the ITV1 chat show, after the singer said he was wasting his talent and that there was a ``deep-rooted unhappiness in his life'.

The star said: ``Nobody wants to shunt another car or be found asleep behind the wheel. But they're not life-changing events.

``Unfortunately every artist nowadays has a soap opera and it's decided where they're going to be in that.

``The trajectory of my particular soap opera launched from that statement Elton made about 18 months ago when he hadn't seen me for years.

``For some reason, from that point on, I've been trying to prove that I'm not (really miserable). That unfortunately made me really vulnerable to the press.'

Michael, who sang former Wham! number Everything She Wants on the show, confirmed that he was set to seal his relationship with partner of 10 years, Kenny Goss.

He said: ``I think that we will formalise it definitely from a legal point of view.

``It's absolutely essential that we have the same safeguards that straight couples do. But I want more than a 50% chance of success. I don't want to emulate that.

``We'll probably do it on our 10th anniversary. We'll probably do the formal legal thing then the party.

``But no-one is going to be getting into a dress. Neither of us have the body for it now.'

He added: ``Kenny knows I'm a terrible driver.'

Michael told Parkinson that he was sick of people seeing photographs of him when he was fat, after he had lost so much weight from slogging out at the gym for over a year, saying of the latest incident: ``I've spent a year in the gym and they still used that old, fat picture.

``I've been out of the woods for a good three years. But I've been trying to prove to people that I'm not on the edge of disaster and I'm not fat.'

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