George Michael has revealed that he has "completely stopped" using cannabis and prefers to watch Coronation Street. However, he is no fan of rival soap EastEnders.

The 50-year-old singer had a history of battling drug use, but has told The Big Issue that he has stayed clean for "well over a year-and-a-half".

In his first print interview for five years, Michael explained that health scares and the time he spent in prison helped him to turn his life around.

"I decided to change my life and I haven't touched it," he said, referring to cannabis.

In 2010 the former Wham! front man, who has just released his new live album Symphonica, was sentenced to eight weeks in prison for driving under the influence of drugs, after crashing his car into a photo shop in London.

"Jail wasn't great. I just thought, get your head down and get on with it. It turned out to be easier than I was expecting because I knew I deserved to be there," he said.

He also suffered from pneumonia while touring in Austria in November 2011. Last May, he received head injuries after falling out of a car while travelling on the UK's M1 motorway.

"It was very frightening . . . I was just so grateful to come out alive," he said of his "pretty horrible experience".

Michael explained that he has swapped his former rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle for the cosier option of television soaps - and Coronation Street in particular.

"I watch Corrie especially because it's more of a laugh. Even when life is tragic on Coronation Street, it's still funny," he said.

However, Michael was less complimentary about the BBC soap, EastEnders. He’s not too happy with that show’s treatment of gay characters.

He said: "I hope for their sakes and the sake of gay kids in this country, regardless of their cultural background, that EastEnders gets a clue and begins to acknowledge their responsibility and provide us with gay characters that have no reason to live in fear. We do exist."