Michael Jackson: The Live Séance

What happens when you get mentally ill people and sit them round a table with a charlatan and someone who is monumentally insincere? Well, you get Sky One’s Michael Jackson: The Live Séance.

June Sarpong, the host of this car-wreck, wheels out her creaking-gate voice to talk to people like she’s patronising them. She might not be, but she always sounds like she is. And why not? The people she talked to in the show was the grotesquely fascinating melted waxwork of David Guest and four Michael Jackson devotees who clearly need some kind of psychiatric assistance.

Acorah, a man who once channelled Kreed Kafer aka An anagram of Derek Faker, was given the task of contacting Michael Jackson from the spirit world. He held the hands of the fans and they all stared at a hat.

The hat, naturally, was once Jackson’s and of course, this makes these weird devotees weep on contact. While they wept at some imagined presence, Derek helpfully shouted “LOVELY CRYSTAL!” as well as the chillingly mundane “Someone say hello to Quincy Jones for me.” Acorah, ever the idiot, didn’t pass up the chance to make one of the participants actually say the words “Hello Quincy” through their tears.

Staggering.

Naturally, the participants were so mental that at certain points, our Derek looked positively normal. Glenn, who transformed himself into Michael Jackson with make-up, decided that the best way to pay tribute to his idol would be to sit lifelessly, unemotional and listless. Giving 110% no doubt.

Another fan, who we’d seen doing his best dancing on a bit of waste ground wanted to ask his idol that most important of questions. No, he didn’t ask if he was murdered… nor did he ask what heaven was like… he asked “Which of my performances did you like best?” What a twerp.

Still, those two were nothing compared to the other two freakshows. There was a girl who spent all of her time welling up and saying “I can feel him in the room!” and doing an amazing impression of a dazed and recovering alcoholic bumbling out of a rehabilitation centre full of experimental drugs.

Meanwhile, the last guy, dressed in a gold jacket, cried up huge blobs of tears out of his Roy Cropper face. I’m assuming he’s on suicide-watch now as he continually slashes at himself with mint copies of the Scream single, as he attempt to get even closer to Michael Jackson.

So what did I learn after watching the show? Well, one way of becoming powerful is to pretend to channel Michael Jackson. That way, you can get a load of gullible people and meld their soft, empty brains into thinking that it might be a good idea to follow me and my spirit guides around and, y’know, give me all their money. They’ll cry and shout”I LOVE YOU! DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU?” and do dance routines for me. The FBI will no doubt kill me in some dreadful shoot-out.

Anyway, back to the show. Sarpong closes by asking Derek about “those who feel sceptical”. Acorah’s answer? “Well… they can feel sceptical.” Thanks. I will. However, that’s the least of my gripes. Am I allowed to feel like I watched a whole room of people having nervous breakdowns being exploited by a hammy ruse as well? Am I? Don’t bother answering that… you’re clearly not in the business of listening to living people anyway. If you were, you’d weep yourself to sleep every night, presuming that is, you own a conscience.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1