Gay singer George Michael has defended cruising for sex on Hampstead Heath, saying it is “nicer” than trying to pull in a bar.

He was was outed in 1998 when he was arrested for cottaging in Los Angeles and was arrested again last year for being in possession of crack cocaine in public toilets on Hampstead Heath.

In an interview with the Guardian, he said: “The handful of times a year it’s bloody warm enough, I’ll do it. I’ll do it on a nice summer evening. Quite often there are campfires up there.

“It’s a much nicer place to get some quick and honest sex than standing in a bar, E’d [drugged] off your tits shouting at somebody and hoping they want the same thing as you do in bed.”

When asked why he needed to go cruising to find men, he said: “I do get anyone I want. But I like a bit of everything. I have friends up there, I have a laugh.”

He also refuted rumours that he and boyfriend Kenny Goss had split up.

In the past few years, a number of stars including Elton John have suggested that Michael needs saving.

Michael said: “Elton lives on that. He will not be happy until I bang on his door in the middle of the night saying, ‘Please, please, help me, Elton. Take me to rehab.’ It’s not going to happen.

“Elton just needs to shut his mouth and get on with his own life. Look, if people choose to believe that I’m sitting here in my ivory tower, Howard Hughesing myself with long fingernails and loads of drugs, then I can’t do anything about that, can I?’

He added: “People want to see me as tragic with all the cottaging and drug-taking… those things are not what most people aspire to, and I think it removes people’s envy to see your weaknesses.

“I don’t even see them as weaknesses any more. It’s just who I am.”

The star is reportedly being lined up to appear with Robbie Williams and Paul McCartney on the Christmas special of The X Factor.