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Wednesday, 5 February, 2003, 19:21 GMT
Jackson interview 'boosts sales'
Michael Jackson
Jackson said he was taunted as a child
The controversial television documentary about singer Michael Jackson has boosted sales of his records, say HMV.

Figures released on Wednesday suggest the ITV1 programme Living With Michael has prompted a rush to buy some of his most famous albums.

Thriller sales increased five-fold at HMV on Tuesday, the day after the documentary was screened.

An estimated 14 million people tuned in to hear the former lead singer of the Jackson Five interviewed by Martin Bashir.

I think it shows that exposure may not be particularly favourable but it will always add to some degree of sales increase

Gennaro Castaldo
HMV
They heard Jackson, 44, admit he let boys sleep in his bedroom - a confession which provoked an angry response from chidren's charities.

Figures from HMV showed sales of Thriller at all its stores up by 500% on Tuesday compared to the previous week.

And his greatest hits album HIStory sold ten times as many as the week before.

HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said: "Although they started from a very low base the week before, the sales rise is quite significant.

"I would not be surprised if they continued for the rest of the week.

Michael Jackson
Jackson said he had two face operations
"I think it shows that exposure may not be particularly favourable but it will always add to some degree of sales increase."

Jackson's last album, Invincible, went to number one when released in 2001 but was a major flop compared to the massive achievements earlier in his career.

Bashir followed the singer for eight months, interviewing him several times and spending time at his Californian ranch, Neverland.

Jackson was also filmed spending $6m (3.6m) on a shopping excursion during a stay in Las Vegas.

Martin Bashir
Bashir is best known for his 1995 interview with Princess Diana
The singer became upset talking about his childhood and his violent father.

He told Bashir that he saw nothing wrong with children sleeping over at his Neverland mansion

But principal policy officer at Barnardo's, Pam Hibbert, said: "At Barnardo's we feel it is totally inappropriate for an adult man to share a bed or bedroom with a child that is not his own."

See also:

05 Feb 03 | England
04 Feb 03 | Entertainment
04 Feb 03 | Entertainment
15 Nov 02 | Entertainment
19 Nov 02 | Entertainment
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