Michael Jackson thrills fans at The O2 - briefly
Michael Jackson eventually arrived at The O2 this afternoon to announce his last ever shows in London.
Jackson, 50, will play 10 shows at the arena from July 8 and told around 2,000 fans "This is it, this is the final curtain call".
The 50-year-old King of Pop kept around 2,000 fans, and almost as many press, waiting for over an hour and a half, before finally taking to a temporary stage in the entrance area of The O2 just after 5.30pm.
Jackson was introduced by television host Dermot O'Leary and seemed genuinely pleased to be see the over-excited crowd.
He told them: "I love you so much. This is it. This will be the final curtain call.
"I will be performing songs my fans want to hear. See you in July."
He then struck a few poses before departing after just five minutes on stage.
The shows promise to be the hottest tickets of the year, although many will be hoping for a more energetic performance from Jackson than he managed today.
Fans had travelled from far and wide to catch a glimpse of their idol.
Dries Van Deninck, An Deraemaeker and Thomas Melis were on a three-day trip to London from Antwerp and the young Belgians leapt at the opportunity to see Jackson.
"We were going to come to The O2 anyway," said Dries.
"And when we heard Michael was coming we just had to be here. We got here at around midday and it has been worth the wait."
Ernest Hayes, 61, had travelled down last night from Dunoon in Scotland.
"My sister is a huge Michael Jackson fan so when she heard he was doing this she insisted we come.
"We're heading back on the 10.30 coach tonight but it's been absolutely fantastic."
And Kathleen Hands, a member of Jackson's fan club, was there with her two children Curtis, 13, and Samantha, 3.
The 34-year-old from Brentwood was determined to see Jackson after missing him in concert before.
She said: "It's fantastic to be so close to him. I had a chance to see him once in concert but my ex sold the tickets so I'm really excited about the shows."
Tickets, priced from £50, go on sale to the general public from 7am on Friday, March 13 from michaeljacksonlive.com
To register for presale tickets visit michaeljacksonlive.com or text 'MJ' to 81707.
Text costs 10p to 12p dependent on network in the UK only.