Pop icon Boy George has confessed his wild days as a drug addict did not begin until after Culture Club came to an end.

The gay star insists he was clean and sober when his band was hitting the top of the charts around the world and he's very keen to make sure fans know he wasn't having a high time when he was performing at the height of his success.

Now 52, the Karma Chameleon singer has been sober for six years after battling a well-publicised substance abuse addiction.

But he tells U.S. news show Access Hollywood Live he was never a bad Boy when he was on top of the charts.

He explains, "I haven't always been a mess... At the height of my success I was Mr. Goody-Goody. I was clean... I started smoking when I was 26. I did it the wrong way round; when I should have been out of control I was being really sensible and working hard.

"For me, it was when the band finished and I had too much time on my hands, that was when it really started to come... Money, being around all the wrong people, all of that."