Fri, March 06, 2009
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Jacko unveils UK curtaincall

2009-03-06 07:17:02 GMT2009-03-06 15:17:02 (Beijing Time)  Reuters

At 50 Michael Jackson can still drive his fans into a screaming frenzy.

His announcement that he'll play 10 curtain call dates at the O2 Arena in London only added further fuel to their adoration of the self-styled King of Pop.

SOUNDBITE: Michael Jackson saying (English):

"These will be my final show performances in London. This will be it. This is it. When I say this is it I mean this is it."

A string of concerts at a single venue would be both lucrative and easier than a full-on tour.

It's also a big gamble.

If the comeback doesn't happen or if it's seen as a flop Jackson will find it even harder to resurrect his career.

His position as one of pop's biggest acts has been overshadowed by bizarre behaviour, his changing appearance, and questions over his health.

One British bookmaker is already offering odds that he would not turn up for a full run of shows.

Fans who surrounded Jackson's hotel ahead of the news conference have no doubts.

SOUNDBITE: Michael, Jackson fan, saying (English):

"I know he can pull it off. I've got so much faith in him."

SOUNDBITE: Marvin, Jackson fan, saying (English):

"I hope it's not for the wrong reasons, because of his money problems. I hope it's because he still genuinely likes the music."

SOUNDBITE; Navi, Jackson fan, saying (English):

"I don't think he has to prove anything to pull it off, the legend he is."

Jackson's been living as virtual recluse since he was cleared of child abuse charges in 2005.

His London run could be just what he needs to remind the world why he's hailed as one of the biggest musical acts of all time.

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