The former reality TV star says he did not mean to “offend anyone” with his behaviour.

Following his recent return to the charts, X Factor winner James Arthur has been discussing his homophobic past, claiming his anti-gay comments were “taken out of context”.

Arthur nearly ended his own career back in 2013, after branding a fellow artist a “f**king queer”.

However, the singer – who is back a No.1 with ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’ – claims he “didn’t mean to offend anyone” with his discriminative behaviour.

“My music is about love and I don’t discriminate against any type of person,” he told BBC Newsbeat.

“It was taken out of context and I didn’t mean to offend anyone at all.

“But I make no excuses and I dealt with the whole thing in the wrong way.”

The artist also opened up about his battle with drugs, which he says was brought on by feelings of depression and anxiety.

“There was no getting through to me I was just buried in self-loathing and doing all the wrong things,” he said.

Following the controversy, the singer vowed to make a “long term commitment” to leading LGBT rights charity Stonewall, though he never fulfilled this promise.

Meanwhile, fellow X Factor winner Steve Brookstein – who has enjoyed considerably less success than Arthur – spent the weekend hitting out at “bitchy homosexuals” on Twitter.

Brookstein rose to prominence on the original X Factor series in 2004, but was quickly ditched by his record label and fell into obscurity.

He has not had a charting album or single release in nearly a decade.