James Arthur offered an apology for his recent behaviour following his performance on Sunday night’s X Factor results show.

The 2012 winner has been caught up in a raft of controversy over the past few weeks following his alleged homophobic ‘rap diss’ which appeared online.

And despite a petition which sprung up online demanding he be dropped from Sunday’s show, he still took to the stage to perform new track Recovery – but afterwards swallowed his pride and addressed his actions.

“You know it’s been an amazing year for me,” he told Dermot O’Leary. “Some incredible highs and some terrible lows.

“I’ve made a few silly mistakes, but I want to say thank you to everyone who’s supported me. Above all I want to say sorry for abusing my position as an X Factor winner.”

When asked by Dermot if he planned to behave himself and have an early night with some camomile tea, he joked: “I love camomile tea now, it’s very calming.”

The controversy initially erupted after James released a ‘rap diss’ aimed at rapper Micky Worthless after he referred to him in one of his own songs as a “pop puppet”.

The track, which contained the lyrics: “You f***ing queer. Hilarious, precarious you Talibani confused, imbellic mimic of a gimmick” – incurred the wrath of celebrities including Matt Lucas and fellow X Factor finalist Lucy Spraggan.

His feud with Lucy later extended to a string of furious texts which she posted on Twitter – but the singer has since spoken out in James’ defence, saying he is not homophobic.