And, we kid you not, the star will address students on the topic of, ahem, child welfare...

Michael Jackson will address students at OXFORD UNIVERSITY during the coming academic year with a speech on child welfare, according to a spokesperson for the OXFORD UNION.

The superstar, subject to at least one intensive police investigation into allegations of child abuse and molestation, will speak to the Oxford Debating Society on the subject of “the welfare of the children of the world”.

A spokesperson for Oxford Union, which in the past has hosted speeches from stars such as Diego Maradona, Warren Beatty and Kermit The Frog, played down the highly controversial choice of subject matter, telling nme.com links between it and the allegations against Jackson were “not relevant”.

“The President of the society wrote an invitation to Michael Jackson a few weeks ago asking him to talk on a subject of his choice,” explained Vice-President Amy Harland. “He accepted and discussion began on what he’d like to talk about. We discussed what he’d do and he decided on the welfare of the world’s children. We are very pleased he accepted.”

She added: “The controversy surrounding him is not relevant as he was never convicted. He may have chosen the subject to clarify how strongly and genuinely he considers children’s welfare.”

The final date of the speech, in front of 900 Union members, has yet to be decided. Depending on Jackson’s schedule it will take place either at the end of November this year or beginning of January 2001.

Jackson will be joined on the podium by leading Jewish clergyman Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, described as the singer’s mentor.

A UK spokesperson for Michael Jackson said simply: “Michael is in the studio at the moment and we can’t confirm any of his future plans at present.”