OJ Simpson gets mixed welcome

After the 'trial of the century', it's trial by television - with Richard and Judy
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OJ Simpson arrived at Heathrow airport, London, yesterday to a mixed reception from a crowd of more than a thousand people, writes Matthew Brace. Fans jostled for autographs, the media for comment and a woman called out: "Murderer!"

The former American football star, acquitted last year of the killings of his wife, Nicole, and her male friend, Ronald Goldman, in what some dubbed the "trial of the century", seemed untroubled by the taunt.

He told the crowd: "There's some friends I have not seen for a while and I want to talk to Richard and Judy," referring to his appearance tomorrow night on Granada Television's new chat show with Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan. The show has already led to controversy; actress Bo Derek pulled out when she discovered she had been asked on to the same edition of the show as OJ.

Mr Simpson's trip to Britain, which is being stage-managed by the celebrity publicist Max Clifford, is being seen as a chance for him to resurrect his public image, badly dented by the trial.

The star was met at Heathrow by Mr Clifford, who said: "It's the first time the man's been in the country since the trial and the British public know him for one reason - the trial.

"Hopefully, in four or five days' time they will know the person behind the trial."

Mr Clifford has arranged for Simpson to play golf today at the Selsdon Park Hotel in Croydon, south London. On Tuesday he is due to speak at the Oxford Union, where campaigners against domestic violence are expected to protest.

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