Off the wall

I don’t want to sound too disrespectful at this sad time, but I can’t help thinking that my most abiding memory of the late Michael Jackson will be of the time he appeared at the Brit Awards in 1996, and his Christ-impersonation was interrupted by a drunken Jarvis Cocker leaping on to the stage to expose his bottom. That event, or more accurately the public response to it, which was overwhelmingly in favour of Cocker, marked the point when the balance between those who saw Jackson as a talented entertainer with some charming eccentricities, and those who thought of him as a creepy weirdo who could sing a bit, shifted irrevocably in favour of the latter.

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