David was incredibly excited about returning to his spiritual home at the end of 2010… the Australian Jungle! He was back where he belonged, in slightly more comfortable surroundings, as he lended his expertise to ITV2’s “I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here Now!” He took part as a very special guest in the first four episodes of the hit show passing judgment on the latest crop of stranded celebrities and showing viewers another taste of his unique brand of humour.
David Gest dedicated more than eight months of 2010 and the first seven months of 2011 producing and hosting the life story of his best friend Michael Jackson. He defines the making of “MICHAEL JACKSON: THE LIFE OF AN ICON” as the definitive statement of a life involved in the entertainment business. According to Gest, ‘I have accomplished many things in my life but very few have been as gratifying as spending fifteen months putting together what I believe is the definitive DVD and Television bio on the life of Michael Jackson.’ After a bidding war between four companies, it was finally released in October 2011 by Universal Pictures in every country of the world. It also gave David the chance to show his serious side as the host of this epic DVD and Television documentary.
Katherine Jackson, Tito Jackson, Rebbie Jackson and more than fifty friends, peers and associates of Michael Jackson revealed the man behind the mirror on Producer David Gest’s groundbreaking two-and-a-half-hour DVD and Television Special “Michael Jackson: The Life Of An Icon”.
As a best friend of Jackson’s from childhood, Gest has had unprecedented access to the ‘King of Pop’s’ family members, closest allies and coworkers – many of whom have gone on record to talk about Jackson’s life for the very first time.
Gest has pieced together the most important facts about Jackson’s life based on brand new first-hand accounts he filmed with the people who knew the star best including those Michael loved, trusted and respected the most. This is no fluff piece. From Jackson’s idiosyncrasies and addictions, to the high points of the most celebrated artist of all time, the story unravels in a most unique and fascinating way. In addition to celebrating Jackson’s many achievements as the biggest selling artist of all-time, ‘Michael Jackson: The Life Of An Icon’ puts to rest some of the speculation surrounding the darker side of the star’s life, dispelling accusations, falsehoods and lies about Jackson.
The special delves into Jackson’s obsession with his appearance, desire to follow in the footsteps of Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy, Jr. as businessmen, his first sexual experience with a well-known older woman at a young age, the terror he went through when his hair caught on fire whilst filming a commercial for Pepsi, the tragedies that followed in later life including Michael’s dependencies on pills as well as his hostility towards those who were disloyal to him. The special also looks into his relationships with Debbie Rowe and Lisa Marie Presley and the various doctors who treated him throughout his life.
Also included in the show is rare, in-studio and live television performance footage of
Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 as well as unforgettable original music from the Motown period by Michael, the Jackson 5 and other artists who Jackson respected and was influenced by. The soundtrack includes more than twenty-one classic tunes.
In addition to interviews with family members Katherine Jackson, Tito Jackson and Rebbie Jackson, “Michael Jackson: The Life Of An Icon” includes exclusive interviews with: Smokey Robinson (Legendary Motown Recording Artist & Songwriter as well as Former Vice-President of Motown), Dionne Warwick (Legendary Recording Artist), Whitney Houston (Legendary Recording Artist & Actress), Thomas Mesereau (Michael’s Attorney at his sensational molestation trial in 2005), Frank Cascio (Michael Jackson’s assistant, long-time friend and un-indicted co-conspirator at Michael’s second trial for child molestation), Percy Sledge (Legendary Soul Singer, ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’), Petula Clark (Legendary UK Singer, ‘Downtown’), Paul Anka (Legendary Singer & Songwriter, ‘This Is It’ and ‘My Way’), Dennis Edwards (Grammy-Award winning lead singer of The Temptations on ‘Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone’ and ‘I Can’t Get Next To You’), Jimmy Ruffin (Legendary Motown Recording Artist, ‘What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted?’), Freda Payne (Singer, ‘Band Of Gold’), Legendary Motown Songwriting Team of Brian Holland – Lamont Dozier – Eddie Holland (Responsible for more than 150 hits for the Supremes, Four Tops, Isley Brothers, Kim Weston, etc.), Martha Reeves (Legendary Motown Recording Artist, ‘Dancing In The Street’), Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson (Legendary Motown Songwriters and Recording Artists), Abdul ‘Duke’ Fakir (Original member of the legendary Motown Recording Group ‘The Four Tops’, ‘I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)’), Ron Alexenberg (Former Vice-President of Epic Records who signed The Jacksons to CBS when they left Motown), Peabo Bryson (Legendary Singer, ‘Beauty And The Beast’, ‘A Whole New World (Alladin’s Theme)’), Eddie Floyd (Stax Records Singer/Songwriter, ‘Knock On Wood’), Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. (Original Lead Singers of ‘The 5th Dimension’), Kim Weston (Motown Recording Artist), Brenda Holloway (Motown Recording Artist), Don Black (Legendary songwriter, ‘Ben’), Ronnie Rancifer (Member of the Jackson 5 between 1966 and 1976), Bobby Taylor (Lead Singer of ‘Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers’, discovered the Jackson 5 and produced their first album at Motown), Keith & Ronald Jackson (Michael’s first cousins), Reynaud Jones (Original member of the Jackson 5), Frank DiLeo (Michael’s Manager 1984-1989, 2010), J. Randy Taraborrelli (Close friend and best-selling Biographer of Michael Jackson), Milford Hite & Robert Hite (Milford was an original member of the Jackson 5 and his brother Robert managed them prior to Joe Jackson), Dexter Wansel (Writer and Producer for The Jacksons when they signed to CBS), Russell Thompkins, Jr. (former lead singer of the Stylistics on all their hit records), Mickey Rooney (Legendary Actor), Weldon A McDougal III (Helped discover the Jackson 5, promoted their records on Motown and was the group’s official photographer), Mark Lester (Godfather to Michael’s children and claimant to the possible paternity of one or more of Michael’s children), the songwriting team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff (who were responsible for The Jacksons first hits after leaving Motown including ‘Enjoy Yourself’ and ‘Show You The Way To Go’) and Billy Paul (Singer, ‘Me & Mrs Jones’).
Family matriarch Katherine Jackson, for the first time, opens up intimately about her personal life as well as her relationship with her son Michael. Rebbie Jackson, Michael’s eldest sister, gives a very rare interview and recounts the star’s childhood growing up in Gary, Indiana, as well as his difficulties with father Joe, his extraordinary bond with mother Katherine, and his decline in later years. Gest’s other best friend, Michael’s brother, Tito, provides an in-depth look into Jackson’s history and what his mother and family went through during the sensational molestation trial in 2005. The viewers witness an emotional side to Tito never before seen on camera.
David Gest and Michael Jackson began their friendship in 1969 and more than thirty years later the two formed a successful business venture, World Events LLC, where Gest produced and Jackson starred in the highest rated music television special in history “Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration” on the CBS Network. According to Gest, ‘I have tried to show Michael in a truly unique light. I have spent the past fifteen months traveling the world interviewing people who were most important in his life. I believe this popumentary will entertain and educate in equal measures about who the real Michael Jackson was. I hope this will serve as a lasting testament to the compassion and love that he had for all mankind. He was a very complex individual and this special reveals the many different facets of his personality.’