Is he completely off his rocker? Oh, right...

MICHAEL JACKSON is associating himself with another UK-based pop act in what is increasingly looking like an attempt to make himself relevant to today’s pop fans, many of whom have little or no idea who the former King Of Pop is.

After expressing an interest in writing with a1, there’s now news that Jackson would like to record with Westlife. According to a report on [url=]www.mtvasia.com, the star is interested in meeting the band on a trip to the UK. As previously revealed exclusively on NME.COM, he is due to speak at Oxford Union on March 6.

Predictably, Westlife are pleased at the news with Shane from the band commenting: “If we get the chance it will be amazing for us – you don’t get any bigger than that. We haven’t heard too much about what he thinks of us because he is so secretive, but if he’s listened to our album and wants to work with us then we would jump at the chance.”

Ironically, reported talks between Michael Jackson and Max Martin, the man responsible for some of the better moments on Westlife’s ‘Coast To Coast’, and the global success of acts like Britney Spears, *N Sync and Backstreet Boys, seem to have come to nothing.

Stockholm tabloid Expressen reported unconfirmed rumours before Christmas that the writer/producer and Jackson were to meet with a view to collaborating. Martin had previously worked with Jackson’s nephews, the mid-’90s trio 3T. But even without the presence of Max Martin, the Michael Jackson album will still include a role-call of artists including Rodney Jerkins, Teddy Tiley, Wyclef Jean, R Kelly and Lauryn Hill.