Page last updated at 12:09 GMT, Saturday, 29 November 2008

George Michael plans festive gift

George Michael
Michael announced he had written the song earlier this year

Pop star George Michael is to give a Christmas gift to his fans - a free download of his latest recording, December Song (I Dreamed of Christmas).

The track, which will receive its first radio play on Monday, will be available from his website and other digital stores on Christmas Day.

It is Michael's first festive single since Wham's Last Christmas in 1984.

The song was originally promised to fans on the last night of the star's UK concerts in August.

At the time, he said it would be released in conjunction with a cover version of Feeling Good, made famous by Nina Simone.

However, there were no details of that track - recorded for US TV show Eli Stone, in which the singer has a recurring cameo role - in a statement announcing the Christmas Day download.

The two dates Michael played at Earl's Court this summer were billed as his "last arena shows in the UK".

During the concerts, he told fans that he wanted to leave the "bells and whistles" of touring behind to pursue a "quieter life".

However, he has recently announced a one-off stadium show in Abu Dhabi, which will take place on 1 December.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Last Christmas was the most-played festive song on UK radio over the last five years.

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