Michael Jackson delays London O2 Arena gigs

Singer postpones first four dates of residency

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Michael Jackson has delayed the start of his forthcoming residency at the London O2 Arena.

The singer's 50-night stint had been set to kick off on July 8, but will now begin on July 13. Three further dates have been put back to March 2010.

The July 8 show has been moved to July 13, with the July 10 show moved to March 1 next year. The July 12 show will now take place on March 3, with the July 14 show moved to March 6.

Fans who are unable to make the rescheduled dates will be able to claim refunds. See Michaeljacksonlive.com for more information.

Randy Phillips of promoters AEG said that the delay was due to organisers needing more time to set up the production.

He said in a statement: "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 in the world's busiest arena, the O2.

"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."

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