The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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NBC programme to unmask Jackson

Los Angeles, Jan. 18 (Reuters): NBC News is ready to give singer Michael Jackson his prime-time close-up, novel nose and all, but the self-proclaimed King of Pop is not happy about it.

A special edition of NBC’s news magazine Dateline next month will focus on Jackson’s face and how the reclusive singer’s appearance has dramatically changed over the years along with the highs and lows of his career, network executives said yesterday.

Jackson’s publicist in Los Angeles expressed outrage at the concept.

“I think it’s horrible that NBC is planning on doing a special on Michael Jackson’s face, and the network should focus on more important issues in the world,” she said.

Promotional material released yesterday for NBC’s winter showcase of upcoming programmes described the Dateline special, titled Michael Jackson Unmasked, as the “inside story” of the performer “as told by some of the people who knew him best.”

But comments from network executives made it clear the Dateline segment, slated to air during ratings “sweeps” on February 17, would spotlight the Gloved One’s looks.

In his opening remarks to TV critics gathered for the event, NBC entertainment president Jeff Zucker described it as a special edition on “Michael Jackson’s face.”

“I just hope the folks at Sony Music don’t complain,” Zucker joked in a reference to Jackson’s label, where ex-NBC president Andrew Lack assumed his new post as CEO last week.

An NBC news publicist later said the Dateline special would trace “the rise and fall of Michael Jackson using the transformation of his looks as a metaphor for his career.”

The performer ignited worldwide speculation about his face when he was photographed and shown on television during a rare courtroom appearance in November that left many with the impression he had undergone one nose-job too many.

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