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Tuesday, 1 October, 2002, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Jackson's face boosts Five
Michael Jackson
Jackson used surgery to alter his appearance
A documentary on superstar Michael Jackson's efforts to change his appearance has attracted record ratings for Channel 5.

About 3.6 million people tuned in to watch Sunday night's screening of Michael Jackson's Face.

It was the highest ever audience for a show on the channel - which has been renamed Five - excluding football and films.

It's an astonishing performance for a documentary on Britain's youngest channel

Channel 5 Spokesman

The figure had a negative impact on ITV's Lancashire drama, Rose and Maloney. It attracted a disappointing 5.2 million - a quarter of the audience watching TV at the time.

The channel enjoyed a strong weekend and at one stage on Saturday was close to overtaking Channel 4 in the audience stakes with just 0.2% in the audience share stakes separating them.

Five had almost one in six viewers at 2100 on Sunday. At its peak, about 4.2 million people were watching the Jackson programme, which looked at the state of the pop superstar's face over the years.

"It's an astonishing performance for a documentary on Britain's youngest channel," a spokesman for the five-year-old station said.

Rose and Maloney, featuring a pair of would-be investigators, attracted 2 million fewer viewers than the final episode of BBC1's Silent Witness, which drew 7.1 million viewers.

Michael Jackson's Face was not Five's only ratings winner on Sunday night.

A Kylie Minogue documentary drew 2.2 million viewers - nearly one in 10 of the audience - while both the film Tarzan and the Lost City and the pilot episode of controversial US cop show The Shield attracted 1.6 million people each (8% and 12% respectively).

Jackson's alterations

Michael Jackson's efforts to alter his appearance have been well documented.

By the 1980's he was said to have undergone plastic surgery, and to be taking skin whitening drugs.

He later blamed his changing appearance on a skin pigmentation deficiency.

Michael Jackson
Jackson was the youngest member of the Jackson Five
Michael Joseph Jackson remains one of the planet's best known figures.

Born in 1958, Jackson has spent his whole life in the public eye as he began performing at the age of four.

Though the youngest member of the Jackson Five, he became the group's lead vocalist and front man.

He went on to release Thriller, the most successful album of all time, selling more than 47 million copies and scooping seven Grammy award.

Jackson is twice divorced and has two children by his second wife; Prince Michael Junior, born in 1997 and Paris Michael Katherine, born in 1998.

See also:

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