Michael Jackson is one of the world's most famous names. So what's it like having it? This week, as the singer returned to this country, the Candid Caller used his phonecard to contact a selection of lesser- known (and British) Michael Jacksons. The two-pronged question was: is it tough being Michael Jackson and would you ever consider plastic surgery?

'No, because I'm the original. You need a sense of humour, though. I'm a classical music fan and when I present my credit card to buy records locally, the young kids behind the counter register my name with a chuckle,' said Michael Jackson of Liverpool.

'Last weekend I went to Leeds for a family function at the same time that other bloke Jackson was appearing there. All over the city were posters saying 'Michael Jackson is coming', so I opened my car window, waved at the pedestrians and called out: 'Here I am]' No one responded, however. As for plastic surgery, you must be joking - I don't even use


'The answer is 'No' to both questions. I can give or take his music, but the name's no bother,' said Michael Jackson of Leeds.

'No, it's wonderful being Michael Jackson, it's certainly not tough. I'm in the sports trophy business and it's very useful, customers always remember my name. As for plastic surgery, I don't think I need it,' added another Michael Jackson of Leeds.

'Ha, ha] It's not tough, but it does cause a few laughs if I have to go for a hospital appointment, when the nurses call out my name. I always tell my friends I'm the poor white one. It's doubtful whether I'd ever consider plastic surgery,' explained Michael Jackson of Derby.

'Generally, no. Sometimes I've had my answerphone tapes completely filled with young girls singing auditions or making very crude suggestions with quite revolting language. ('Could we borrow the tapes, strictly for research purposes?') Ha] 'Fraid not, I didn't keep them. I'd never consider plastic surgery,' added Michael Jackson of Peterborough.

'The singer has been famous for quite a long time, so I ought to be used to it, but it's still a bit tedious at times. I can see in advance when people are about to make a joke, then they ask me if it happens all the time. I reply: 'No, it hasn't happened for at least 30 seconds',' said Michael Jackson, the Independent's beer correspondent.

'I was recently booked for a beer-tasting in a Manhattan blues club. It was advertised in Village Voice and was a sell-out, with queues round the block - and nobody complained that it was the wrong guy] No, I wouldn't ever consider plastic surgery to make myself look like Diana Ross.'