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Jacko’s Backo

It's been the stuff of rumour for months but now it seems almost certain that Michael Jackson will play a 30-gig residency at the 02 centre this summer.

A press conference has been scheduled for tomorrow afternoon at which the man himself might make an appearance. He's known to be in the country anyway.

Up until relatively recently, the idea that Jacko might do anything purely because he needs the money would have been ridiculous but the accumulative effect of legal costs, poor record sales, and his unreconstructed attitude to spending have left him short of cash.

I don't think it's just about boosting the Jacko coffers though. He's got an ego the size of a small country and desperately craves the oxygen of approval that only an adoring crowd can provide.

Also, I'm sure the fact that he'll be trumping arch-rival Prince's much-heralded 21-night stand at the same venue won't have escaped his attention.

When Jacko turned 50 last year, Tom Townshend wrote a piece asking what it would take to restore him to his erstwhile position as the King of Pop. In that article, Tom doubted whether MJ was physically capable of pulling off a Prince-style residency.

Was Tom wrong? As with so much in the Michael Jackson story, we'll just have to wait and see.

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