George Michael claims he will never be too old for dance music because he is gay.

The 'Faith' hitmaker is planning to undertake a new musical direction and believes that his advancing years may mean he is taken less seriously, though he insists the criticisms would be "irrelevant" because of his sexuality.

He said: "I'm writing dance music - even if I'm on the cusp of being too old to be taken seriously to make that music. As a gay man, you don't have to stop dancing by 48 - there's plenty more years to go.

"The point about house music and dancing within the gay community is you don't have to stop doing it, because you don't have children to get up for in the morning.

"There's plenty of things gay people don't have to stop doing, which makes the question of, 'Am I too old to do it?' irrelevant in my community."

George - who is currently on a European tour entitled Symphonica, which sees him perform his greatest hits accompanied by a 41-piece orchestra - wants the music to appeal to all of his fans, but is paying particular attention to use his new songs to "address issues" facing gay people.

He said: "All that's important to me now is that it's a new direction because lyrically I want to address issues that gay people fac3e.

"I still want to make the songs universally enjoyable. I'm not trying to turn anyone off from my original fan bas but it's at the other end of the scale to the tour."