Michael Jackson's O2 shows to be his 'final curtain call'

The singer announces 10 dates at the O2 Arena in July, his last ever shows in London

Blog: Will you be helping Jacko sell out the O2?

Michael Jackson took to the stage at London's 02 Arena earlier today to tell screaming fans that his forthcoming shows in the capital would be "the final curtain call".

As reported earlier this week, the 50-year-old singer was speaking at an event to confirm his first series of full concerts in over ten years. His 02 Arena residency will begin on July 8 2009 and will run for 10 nights.

In characteristic fashion, Jackson was over an hour and a half late in making his announcement. After a brief introduction from presenter Dermot O'Leary, Jackson appeared on stage in a black and silver sparkling jacket and with just a touch of swagger in his step. "I love you so much," he told the crowd, waving peace signs and smiling. "Thank you all". He then began chanting "This is it! This is it!" along with the crowd.

"I just want to say, these will be my final show performances in London. This will be it, when I say this is it I really mean this is it." After a pause, he told the crowd: "I'll be performing the songs my fans want to hear, this is it, I mean this is the final curtain call, ok?"

Jackson then said "I'll see you in July" before departing the stage. The 2,000-strong audience was made up of reporters, camera crews and a large contingent of fans.

The singer hasn't performed a full concert since he was cleared of child abuse charges in 2005. His return to the stage is said to have been prompted by financial woes, and an auction of his personal possessions is set to take place in April this year.

Tickets for the 10 date tour go on sale at 7am on Friday 13 March 2009. Presale information is available from michaeljacksonlive.com and by texting MJ to 81707. Prices start at £50, £60 and £75.


Rosie Swash

The GuardianTramp

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