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Monday, 5 March, 2001, 17:16 GMT
Jackson's CD spree
Michael Jackson pictured last year
Jackson will attend a London book launch on Monday
Pop legend Michael Jackson has splashed out 1,500 ($2,200) on a spending spree in London before starting a string of engagements in Britain this week.

The reclusive singer asked staff at the HMV store in Oxford Circus, London, to stay open late for him after he arrived at Heathrow Airport, London, on Sunday. He was on crutches after injuring his foot in an accident last week.

Jackson, 42, went to the store with his friend and actor, Macaulay Culkin, 20, and spent two hours picking up 1,500 worth of music and videos.

His purchases revealed him as a fan of controversial rapper Eminem, alternative rock band Radiohead and Brits winners Coldplay.

He also took away an Ali G video, the entire back catalogue of folk-rock act Bread, a box-set of David Attenborough wildlife videos plus a copy of Home Alone 2 - starring Culkin.

Michael Jackson
The UK press is unlikely to get close to Jackson
A HMV spokesman described the star as "incredibly approachable" and said he chatted to the staff and signed autographs.

Jackson is to address the Oxford Union, a 178-year-old debating institution, on Tuesday alongside Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

Rabbi Boteach and Jackson are co-founders of the Heal The Kids charity, which is dedicated to "promoting nurturing relationships between parents and children".

Heal The Kids' board members include former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and actress Elizabeth Taylor, a close friend of the singer.

Jackson and Rabbi Boteach will also appear in London on Monday evening to launch the rabbi's book, Confessions of A Rabbi and Psychic - a collection of letters between the Jewish leader and Uri Geller.

The rabbi is best known for his 1999 book Kosher Sex, which caused controversy among many Orthodox Jews.

Jackson's other British engagements this week include attending Uri Geller's wedding on Wednesday and a fan club event at the Hammersmith Apollo, west London, later the same day.


Jackson wore his trademark black mask as he arrived in Britain, and winced in pain as he hobbled up an airport staircase before being whisked away by limousine.

"It's painful - I've broken two bones in my foot and it hurts," he told reporters.

Asked when he would be dancing again, the father-of-two replied: "I hope very soon."

More than 20,000 people have applied to witness Jackson's Oxford lecture, although only 500 will be allowed into the debating chamber itself.

Reporters will also be kept away from the address, having to make do with watching a video feed of the lecture from a nearby building.

See also:

05 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Oxford's star chamber
28 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Injured Jackson keeps Oxford date
23 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Jackson to 'surprise world'
09 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Jackson sets Oxford date
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