However, the tabloids' new hate-figure is unlikely to actually turn the thing on when he hits UK stages next week...

Reports that EMINEM will be prevented from using a live chainsaw as a prop onstage during his UK shows are inaccurate, NME.COM has learned, as the controversial rap star at no time actually switched the machine on during recent European performances.

A spokesperson for London Docklands Arena, where Eminem will play two sold-out shows on February 9 and 10, explained: “I went to observe the show in Hamburg, but at no time did he switch it on. I don’t know if that was because of the local authorities or at the request of the promoter, but in the UK it will be up to the local authority, both here and in Manchester [Evening News Arena, February 8]. Here, he can switch it on if he wishes, but he must remove the chain.”

The spokesperson also nixed remarks quoted in today’s UK press that “he will not be able to plug it in”, pointing out that chainsaws are petrol-fuelled.

He added that it would no doubt prove impractical to switch it on, as the noise would make it impossible to be heard.

The spokesperson also played down reports that Eminem was arriving in Britain with the biggest ever entourage of any pop star. Though there are 50 people in tow, he said many of them were along with support acts Outkast and Xzhibit. “It’s nowhere near as many as Britney Spears,” he said. “She had 75.”

Tickets for the Eminem shows in the Docklands Arena sold out in four hours.