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Last Updated: Monday, 7 March, 2005, 08:57 GMT
Jackson's double courts attention
Michael Jackson impersonator Edward Moss
Moss began impersonating Jackson for a McDonald's talent show
The camera ban in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial has proved fortunate for actor Edward Moss, who plays the singer in daily courtroom re-enactments on TV.

Moss performs highlights of the trial for Sky News and Sky One, surrounded by suitably adorned and costumed actors playing lawyers, witnesses, jury members and Judge Rodney Melville.

The 27-year-old from Hollywood admits the role has not been too demanding so far as he has only been required to frown, raise the odd eyebrow and pretend to scribble notes.

"Well I'm not about to hop up onto the table!" he says. "Unless Michael does that in court himself, of course."

Moss has been impersonating Jackson for a decade, having initially been persuaded to mimic the star for an employee talent contest while working at McDonald's.

Professional lookalike

"The first prize was $200, and as I was being paid $4.25 an hour at the time I thought I might as well go for it," he says.

"People had been telling me that I looked like Michael since I was four years old. I'm not a huge fan of his but I decided to put the similarity to some use."

Moss won the contest and embarked upon a career as a professional lookalike, singing and moonwalking along to Jackson's hits for audiences in the US, the Philippines, New Zealand and Japan.

He also played Jackson on spoof horror movie Scary Movie 3 and appeared on US TV in Nip/Tuck, Mad TV and The Tonight Show.

Edward Moss
I'm just glad I no longer have to ask people whether they want to Super Size
Edward Moss

Although he does not reveal how much he is paid to mimic the 46-year-old star, Moss says it had given him "a comfortable life and a great career".

"I'm just glad I no longer have to ask people whether they want to Super Size," he says.

Moss is now expert at transforming himself into the star, a process he completes in just 45 minutes.

First he applies pale make-up onto his naturally olive skin. Then he uses make-up to make his nose appear "a little thinner", draws over his nostrils and eyebrows with black pencil then pulls on a long black wig.

"I've never had any plastic surgery," he says. "I've always said that if I couldn't achieve his look with make-up then I wouldn't do it."

Acting ability

Moss won the courtroom TV role after an audition process which judged his acting ability as well as his appearance.

"It's easier to recreate something Michael has done on stage or in a music video as that gives you a definite reference point," he says.

"Each day we receive the court transcript and I have to imagine how Michael would react. But I know his mannerisms and body language so that's no problem."

Moss says he had no hesitation in accepting the role, despite the nature of the court case.

Michael Jackson
Jackson reportedly told Moss he was a "really good" impersonator
"This a very serious case based around very serious allegations," he adds.

"People need to know what is going on in court and this a good way of showing them."

He says he has no idea whether Jackson approves of his courtroom mimicry. Moss briefly met the singer in 1997 while he was imitating him in front of Hollywood Wax Museum.

He says the star, who was disguised as a woman at the time, had been watching his performance and told him he was "really good" before disappearing with his entourage.

Moss has signed up for the duration of the court case and plans to continue performing afterwards, whether as Jackson or not.

"I can easily disguise my similarity to Michael by removing the wig and the outfit," he says. "I'm taking my career as it comes but I do see a bright future."

Michael Jackson court re-enactments are on Sky News at 0930 GMT every day and 1430 GMT from Tuesday to Saturday. Sky One shows them at 1330 GMT from Tuesday to Sunday.

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