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Old 20-12-2013, 09:40 AM   #42
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ITN Source - 15 June 2002
UK: Michael Jackson to become honorary director of Exeter Football Club

Pop superstar Michael Jackson has been mobbed and knocked to the ground by excited fans at London's Paddington railway station, shortly before he set off for the western English city of Exeter with magician Uri Geller and illusionist David Blane. Earlier, Jackson had been given a tour of Britain's Houses of Parliament. Pop music superstar Michael Jackson entered the hallowed halls of Britain's Houses of Parliament on Friday (June 14) at the invitation of the Labour peer, Lord Greville Janner.

Jackson was accompanied by magician Uri Geller and U.S. illusionist David Blane for a sightseeing trip that included a meeting with the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, and a birthday party with a Cabinet minister. Jackson was the guest of Lord Janner, who arranged the singer's guided tour of the Palace of Westminster as a favour to his close friend, spoon-bending psychic Geller. Geller accompanied Jackson as he was whisked round Westminster's Great Hall and shown the debating chambers of both Houses. Jackson, wearing a black tuxedo with double breasted satin lapels and a white wing collar shirt without a tie, stepped from one of a fleet of blacked-out limousines to be met by Lord Janner. He then posed for pictures with the Peer, Geller and the escapologist and stuntman, Blane.

Asked what brought him to Parliament, Jackson replied: "To visit my wonderful friend," pointing to the Peer, "and to educate me about this whole incredible thing." Jackson later joined newly promoted Chief Secretary to the Treasury Paul Boateng for a party on the terrace overlooking the river Thames to celebrate both his birthday and his elevation to the Cabinet as Britain's first black Cabinet minister. After singing "Happy Birthday" to Boateng, the pop legend signed autographs for staff at Westminster before being ushered away by Boateng saying, "Michael's got to rest now." After his tour, Jackson was driven to London's Paddington train station to travel to the southwest English city of Exeter by private train to visit Exeter City football club, of which he is to be made an honorary director.

Bedlam erupted as Jackson and his entourage arrived to board the train to Exeter as a screaming mob of fans from all corners of the globe tried to get close to their idol. The American superstar, jostled and pushed in the melee, was lucky to escape injury as mass hysteria gripped his die-hard admirers. "I have never ever ever seen anything like that and I hope I will never see it again. Michael was crushed. He actually fell on the platform, said Geller who had invited Jackson on a fund-raising charity trip to Exeter. "Now let me tell you this. If Michael wasn't in the shape that he is in, he would have stayed there," Geller told Reuters Television after battling to get aboard the "Jackson Express".

Geller, who is hoping to raise money for a children's charity and his third division English soccer club Exeter, said he had never before experienced anything like the screaming mob. The scene at the station was pure chaos, recalling Beatlemania back in the 1960s. Scuffles erupted and extra police were called as the fans surged forward on the platform. Each excitably clutching a 100 pound (147 U.S. dollar) "ticket to ride", one hundred die-hard Jackson fans clambered aboard the train for a "country away-day" with the star. Later Jackson arrived at Exeter Football Club to cheers and screams from thousands of fans.

After greeting some of the waiting children and disabled fans, he made an emotional appeal, calling for peace and love in the world. "Sadly we live in a state of fear. Every day we hear of war in the news on the radio and television, in the newspapers always of war. We have nations hurting each other, of neighbours hurting each other, of families hurting each other, and of children killing each other. We must learn to live and love each other before it's too late. We have to stop, we have to stop the prejudice, we have to stop the hating, we have to stop living in fear of our own neighbours, "the multi-millionaire star said.

Last edited by troyhand; 20-12-2013 at 09:40 AM.
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