Floral displays, dimmed theatre lights, a mass moonwalk and Sir Elton John singing "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" to celebrity house guests – it was an eccentrically British response to the news.
Fans, many brandishing Jacko paraphernalia, gathered at the O2, where he had been scheduled to play 50 gigs this summer. Christopher Wright, 26, from Essex, sat beneath the giant screen of Jackson, wearing a replica red jacket from the "Beat It" video. "I was here in March when Michael announced his gigs and wanted to come down here today," he said. "It's devastating." Mr Wright had made a poster reading: "Dear Michael, you will be missed very much by all your fans across the world. You are a true inspiration. Love always, Chris."
Mohamed Al-Fayed announced that he would erect a Jackson memorial at his Harrods department store. "When I showed him around the store, he liked my statue," Mr Fayed explained. "He said, 'Can I have one alongside you?' I said 'I don't mind,' so now I'm going to have a Michael Jackson memorial here."
The BBC filmed a last-minute scene referring to the singer's death for last night's episode of EastEnders. "We always aim to reflect topical events that we think will strike a chord with our audience," said a spokeswoman.
A "mass moonwalk" at Liverpool Street Station in London last night was organised on Facebook.
At Westminster though, Labour peer Lord Harris criticised Gordon Brown for "getting in on the act" after his message of condolence did not mention the singer's past. "At least, David Cameron has acknowledged that there were some issues about Michael Jackson," he wrote in his blog.