George Michael told fans he is "finally back" as he returned to the UK stage last night.

The 49-year-old singer was hospitalised with pneumonia while performing shows in Vienna last year. He was forced to cancel his tour dates after nearly dying from the illness. Yesterday, he returned to the UK stage with a performance at Birmingham's LG Area.

"I'm finally back!" George yelled to fans. "You could have stayed at home and watched the X Factor tonight. I may be 70-years-old but I can still do it. That might let people on to the fact that I actually watch the X Factor. I only watch it because my boyfriend likes it."

The former Wham! singer showed no signs of the illness as he danced around the stage in a high energy performance. The crowd were delighted with his set that featured a number of covers, including Rihanna's Russian Roulette, along with classics hits from his Wham! days such as I'm Your Man and Freedom '90.

The closing was a grand finish as he belted out his new single I Remember You accompanied by a full orchestra.