Gay singer Boy George has described his Culture Club replacement as “terrible” and “dreadful.”

Culture Club have recently reformed with a new lead singer Sam Butcher for a UK tour starting in December.

But Boy George, who led the group to international fame with disco hits such as Karma Chameleon and Do You Really Want to Hurt Me in the 1980s, said Butcher has no right to sing his songs which were about personal issues.

He told the BBC: “They’re my gay love songs about my boyfriend. He can’t sing them, can he?

“To me, the mark of a good band is when someone else can’t successfully sing their songs, and he can’t sing my songs.”

He said he listened to the band’s new material on myspace.com but hated it, “I wanted to like it but I couldn’t, they’re my songs, they’re my heart, they’re my life.”

Culture Club’s 12-date tour starts in Manchester on 7 December 2006.