Boy George doesn’t regard going to jail as a “negative experience”.

The Culture Club singer served four months behind bars in 2009 for falsely imprisoning a male escort and though he wouldn’t want to go back to prison, he learned a lot from that part of his life.

In an interview with Reader's Digest magazine, he said: “I always maintained that jail would finish me off, but it didn’t.

“You somehow find the strength. It was a life-changing experience and I feel I came out of that situation with some wisdom and knowledge.

“I really don’t view that period in my life as negative… But I wouldn’t want to go back.”

The 59-year-old star admitted his “troubles” – which also included being sentenced to community service in 2006 after police in New York found cocaine in his home – were a valuable life lesson, but they also reminded him he hasn’t fully shaken off the “nihilistic attitude” of his youth, which he wants to hold on to.

He said: “I have always had a mistake in me, but that’s OK.

“As far as the troubles I had back in 2006 and 2009, of course they are things I’m not proud of.

“Yet at the same time they remind me that I hadn’t shaken off that nihilistic attitude of the past, nor would I ever want to.

“And every mistake is a positive life lesson … It really is.”

Since giving up drugs, the ‘Karma Chameleon’ singer has a new appreciation for the world around him.

He said: “Getting clean from the haze of drugs transformed my life in ways I didn’t expect.

“There are the big things, of course, but getting sober also led to me taking in nature so much more.

“I remember when I first got clean, walking over Hampstead Heath thinking, ‘I don’t know this place, I don’t recognise that tree over there, or that hill, or that meadow, even though it’d been there forever.

“I think I moved here a little prematurely in my 20s and didn’t properly appreciate it because of all the partying at the time.

“I’m older now – I can say, ‘Wow, it’s really serene here.' "