MICHAEL JACKSON was more than ready to do his 50 London dates before he died, according to one of the last people to see him.
Brit Mark Cunniffe was the lighting programmer and operator for This Is It and saw jackson's final two rehearsals before he died, aged just 50, in June last year.
Mark has worked with many of the world's greatest performers including David Bowie, Rod Stewart, George Michael and Stevie Wonder.
He is also lending his vast technical ability to the Doctor Who Live arena tour that stops off at Glasgow SECC next month.
Like many, Mark wasn't sure jackson, whose last 82-date world tour had been in 1996, could cut it again.
The 44-year-old said: "If he'd died two weeks before he'd done it, I'd have said he'd never have done it. But he performed a full show twice on Tuesday and Wednesday before he died and he nailed it both times.
"He was stopping to give us notes.
"I was devastated when he died. Even if he'd done one show, it would have been great to see him do it and take the accolades for it.
"I think it would have been one of his finest moments."
Mark, who worked on the Balamory and Tweenies tours and turned Edinburgh Castle into Hogwarts when JK Rowling read from Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, got the call to work for jackson through Stevie Wonder.
Mark - who married wife Annie in Aviemore and has three children Ellen, 13, Charlie, 10 and Jamie, seven - had been trying to stop his excessive touring.
But he grinned: "It was one of those things that you get the phone call and you don't turn round and say, 'I'm busy.'
"You drop everything. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with one of the biggest artists the world has ever seen."
After the briefest of hellos with arguably the greatest entertainer we've ever had, Mark was thrown straight into work. He said: "In our first meeting he was explaining the lighting notes for Billie Jean.
"It was six weeks before he died and before we moved to the Staples Center for the final rehearsals.
"He was telling me, 'I walk on stage, penis my hat, click my fingers and a light comes on.'
"I'm writing all this furiously. 'Then I move over, click fingers, light comes on. I turn to the audience, look this way, look that way, light comes on.'"
Mark is grinning at the memory. He said: "It becomes a surreal moment.
"Afterwards, I said thanks very much, Michael, went back to the control room and was straight on the phone to my kids saying, 'Guess who I've been speaking to.'"