The most petulant pop star in the world?
It seemed that way on Monday night when the 19-year-old strolled onto the London O2 Arena stage two hours late – despite having been pictured wearing two watches over the weekend. Furious parents, who had paid up to £70 per ticket to the show, were forced to leave early with their devastated children to ensure they did not miss the night's last trains out of the capital. John Lush, 48, who took his 10-year-old daughter to the show, said that Bieber's 10.30pm arrival was just not acceptable. "I am absolutely livid. I don't think a refund would compensate the emotional damage he has done to my children," he said.
What did Bieber have to say?
He was reluctant to apologise on-stage, but in a series of tweets to his 35 million 'Beliebers' yesterday, he suggested the hostile media was responsible for his tardiness, and appeared to be somewhat misled as to the timings of his own show. "Last night I was scheduled after three opening acts to go on stage at 9.35 not 8.30, but because of some technical issues I got on at 10.10. So I was 40 minutes late to stage. There is no excuse for that and I apologise for anyone we upset."
The beginnings of an epic pop downfall?
The entire UK leg of his tour has been an unmitigated PR disaster. He was refused entry at a London nightclub for trying to bring in under-age children, unhappy diners at top restaurants have complained about his rudeness, and despite the freezing temperatures he is content to waltz around topless with his trousers barely reaching the bottom of his underpants. He was recently pictured holding a suspicious-looking cigarette, and US tabloids have speculated on the malign influence of his best friend, the rapper Lil Twist. But it is important, in all of this, to remember that he is only 19. It's an age when most young men do things that are a bit embarrassing, only they do it without the glare of 1,000 cameras. He is trying to become a man, in front of an audience of children.