Michael Jackson memorial to be broadcast live in Australia

Updated November 5 2012 - 8:29pm, first published July 7 2009 - 6:19am

Michael Jackson's star-studded memorial service will be broadcast live on Channel Seven and Channel Nine tomorrow morning.The 3am live broadcast from the Staples Centre in Los Angeles will also be screened live at Federation Square in Melbourne, where the temperature is expected to be an icy four degrees.

  • LATEST: Michael Jackson's daughter Paris pays an emotional tribute
  • VIDEO: Watch highlights of the memorial serviceA Channel Nine program on the 50-year-old superstar, whose death 11 days ago shocked the world, will be broadcast on the big screen from 1.30am.A Federation Square spokeswoman said the venue had received a lot of interest from members of the public but it was not known how many would turn up.She said businesses had not yet decided whether they would open or set up coffee carts for chilled viewers at the square.Hundreds of Victorians attended a make-shift memorial service in Wantirna South last Thursday night and at least one Australian man was lucky enough to score a prized ticket to the LA service.Paul Black, who is among the 17,500 fans who secured a ticket for the event, due to begin 10am LA time, said he was glad to be one of the lucky few."It's in my pocket now ... and a lucky wristband as well, which will enable me to get into the show tomorrow which is going to be pretty cool,'' Mr Black told Channel Nine."I'm very lucky, I know there are a lot of people who wanted tickets and, you know, I've always been a fan so I was thinking I'd love to get into this and just sort of be part of the whole experience."I'm really glad that I can be one of them, and there's a lot of Australian fans back home that I'll be carrying the torch for them.''Black, a singer and songwriter, can also claim another coup - he has done "the autograph thing'' with the pop superstar during the HIStory World Tour in 1996 when he arrived in Australia."It's something that I look back now and I'm so grateful and glad that I had that opportunity to actually meet him,'' Black said.News reports said stars including Mariah Carey, Lionel Richie, Justin Timberlake and Stevie Wonder may perform in tribute to the enormously influential Jackson, who sold 750 million albums throughout his career.Other celebrities taking part at the Staples Centre include Jackson's former girlfriend Brooke Shields, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and Oscar-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson.There was also a call-up for British youngster Shaheen Jafargholi, who became a viral sensation for his rendition of Michael Jackson's Who's Lovin' You on the hit television show Britain's Got Talent earlier this year.Jafargholi has played a young Michael Jackson in a production of Thriller - Live, a stage musical celebrating the pop star.More than one million people entered an online lottery hoping to be among 8750 registrants to win tickets for the service at the Staples Centre and a neighbouring arena, where the event will be shown on giant screens.Fans have been arriving in Los Angeles since the service was announced, and there have been fears of logistical chaos if hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets.Italian Noemi Bertoguo, 30, a traffic warden from Turin, said she had flown to Los Angeles immediately after Jackson's death."I have listened to Michael Jackson since I was a little girl,'' she said.Bertoguo gave her extra ticket to compatriot Ambra Turci, a 19-year-old college student from Florence who she met on a fan site."I can't believe it,'' Bertoguo said, adding that none of her friends had been willing to travel to the United States to mourn Jackson.Eighteen-year-old university-bound Kevin Alcantar said he never expected to get the tickets."I never expected this to happen. To be here, there's no words,'' said Alcantar, who was sharing one of his two tickets with his unemployed mother.Jeff Burt meanwhile was taking his 13-year-old daughter to the service after being notified by email on Sunday that his application had been successful.Burt said he had planned on watching the event from his office block in downtown Los Angeles several blocks from the Staples Centre."I was planning on watching it with binoculars, so I was very pleased and surprised when I won,'' Burt said."It's good father-daughter bonding.''But Burt was surprised at the lack of specific identification on his tickets."There was no name on my ticket and they (concert officials) never checked my ID,'' he said.Meanwhile, Ryan Reichenfeld, 23, said he had received two contradictory emails - one saying he won two tickets one saying he did not."But I got the tickets so I figured it wasn't a mistake,'' he said, saying his win was like winning one of Willy Wonka's golden tickets in the popular children's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."It's the same exact thing - maybe even the same odds!'' Reichenfeld said.Kat Widden meanwhile said she believed she had more chance of ``being hit by lightning'' than winning a ticket.Now she planned on taking her boyfriend to the event and said there was no chance of her cashing in on her tickets."Even if I couldn't go I wouldn't sell them,'' she said.
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