Michael Jackson delays residency
Michael Jackson has delayed the start of his London residency by five days, angering over 80,000 ticket holders
Michael Jackson has delayed his comeback tour.
The 'Thriller' singer will now kick off his London residency on July 13, five days later than originally planned.
Shows scheduled to take place on July 10, 12 and 14 have been moved to the end of the tour in March 2010.
It has been reported the 50-year-old star is to have surgery on his skin cancer today (21.05.09), with doctors removing cancerous flesh on his chest and nose.
Jackson may also need radiation gun therapy to ensure all diseased cells are destroyed, according to Britain's The Sun newspaper.
Randy Phillips, president of AEG Live who are promoting the tour, has dismissed Jackson's rumoured cancer battle and stressed the delay is down to the "massive and technically complex show".
He said: "Michael is not sleeping with elephants and not suffering skin cancer. He's a magnet for weird stories but he's in great shape. I'd trade my body for his tomorrow.
"This show has grown in size and scope, thereby, necessitating more lead time for manufacture of the set, programming the content for the massive video elements, and, most importantly, more time for full production and dress rehearsals.
"As much as we agonised over this change in the original schedule, we are sure the fans will understand when they experience the level of entertainment Michael Jackson intends to deliver while also ensuring the safety of the musicians, cast and crew and the crisp execution of the production."
Over 80,000 fans who bought tickets for the postponed shows - including hundreds who live as far away as Australia and South America - are furious with the changes.
Many have already booked travel and accommodation which they are now desperately trying to cancel.
Phillips apologised for the inconvenience fans faced, but claimed people have plenty of time to make new arrangements.
He added: "It is AEG Live's sincere hope that those lucky enough to have purchased tickets will have enough time to change their personal schedules and travel plans if they are coming from outside of London. We do not want anyone to miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience."
Ticketholders who can't make the new dates will be given full refunds but AEG Live won't offer compensation for travel and accommodation bookings.