Boy George says he is finally ready to reunite with Culture Club after 15 years apart, but wanted to put out his own solo record first.

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The Karma Chameleon hitmakers are set to reunite to record a new album in January 2014 – after a 15-year absence from music – and the band’s frontman says he is excited to get back together with his bandmates, Jon Moss, Roy Hay and Mikey Craig, after years of discussing a comeback.

He said: “I talked a few years ago about a Culture Club reunion… they wanted me to do it for years but it wasn’t right and obviously for five or ten years I was going through other things.

“Jon was surprised when I told him I wanted the reunion to happen at last. But I wanted to do this album for myself first.”

George – who has previously battled drug and alcohol abuse – has just released his latest solo album, This Is What I Do, and he says the “darker” times in his life provide the most inspiration for his songs.

He told the Daily Mirror: “It’s easier if you write things at darker stages in your life. When you’re happy you can think, ‘What do I write about?’ ”