At first I thought it was a joke. I'm still pretty sure it's a joke. It's a joke, right? No...? Come off it. It's not as if a TV station that has pretensions to be somehow better than ITV3 one day, fingers crossed, would dare to run a specious hour-long programme in which an ex-Liverpool footballer interviews the newly dead Michael Jackson? I mean, that wouldn't happen, would it?
Well, according to Digital Spy (and I'm not regarding them as bastions of journalistic integrity) it is:
Psychic medium Derek Acorah will attempt to contact Michael Jackson in a live séance on Sky1.
Two newly commissioned shows, Michael Jackson: The Live Séance and Michael Jackson: The Search For His Spirit, will air in November.
June Sarpong will host the events, which aim to give fans "a final chance to connect with their hero". The séance will apparently take place at a secret location which was once inhabited by the 'Thriller' popstar.
If you're not familiar with the oeuvre of Acorah, he's an inexplicably popular, rather silly man who has made a career out of pretending to be possessed by ghosts on television. He also does those appalling 'Is there anybody there?' psychic shows where bereaved people's still-fresh grief is exploited as popular entertainment. All these ghosts or spirits have a Liverpudlian accent for some reason, though he's been known to try and get 'into character' on occasions, with mixed results.
I suppose it's fair enough when you're getting into the character of someone like a deceased 16th century stable lad and saying that he's talking from beyond the grave, but a contemporary figure like Jackson...?
This could end very badly.
In the best (or is it worst?) case scenario, Acorah fails to 'make contact' with the recently dead pop star in the show, but maybe gets through to Elvis or Schubert as second prize, who tell him that Jacko's around and happily singing Billie Jean in heaven.
In the worst (or is it best?) case scenario, Acorah becomes Jackson, adopts a cringeworthy falsetto and says some shit about how much he loves his fans. Who knows? Perhaps Acorah will start moonwalking across the set before launching into a sparkling posthumous version of Man In The Mirror.
Either way, it could be one of the tackiest TV moments in history. I'm not sure what it says about Sky, but it's the sort of crud that even ITV would balk at. Is there a race to the bottom?
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