Michael Jackson has stretched his planned dates at the Millennium Dome to a cash sapping fifty nights, spread over several months.
Fifty gigs? I know Jacko is strapped for cash, but isn't this just looking needy?
Apart from any other consideration, those people who bought tickets yesterday spent hours wrestling Ticketmaster in the belief they were buying a pass to some of Michael Jackson's farewell shows. Now, it turns out that he's going to be doing more after them than he's played in about two decades.
And - in order for him to get some proper rest between songs - the run doesn't end until Janaury 2010. That's longer than most West End musicals manage. Sure, the first couple of dates might seem a bit special, but by next Winter "Michael Jackson playing a gig" is going to become such a commonplace it's going to be on a par with Gordon Brown trying to put on a brave face as economic indicators hang a "twinned with Harare" sign outside the Bank Of England.
One other thing: there's been a lot of suggestion (especially with the This is IT branding) that what's being offered is Jackson's swansong.
“Michael is said to be ‘thrilled’ by the response and wanted as many fans to share the experience with him as possible,” the Website adds. “This will be the last chance to see the King of Pop in London, this really is it!”
The presence of the words "in London" suggests that there's every chance, if he makes it unscathed through this fifty gigs, he'll be popping up in Vegas, or New York, or maybe even Winchester just as soon as he manages to run up eyewatering debts again.
So, that's Jackson: The last chance to see him in Winchester. Coming 2011.