Ireland’s largest independent bookmaker seems to doubt Jacko’s staying power and thinks he could struggle to reach double figures. Anyone who thinks Boylesports has it right can get 7-4 that he won’t do more than 10 shows.

The odds on him doing between 11 and 20 shows are 3-1.

However, the Irish bookie may be a little wary of Jacko seeing out all 50 shows. AEG Live president and chief exec Randy Phillips, who has arranged the shows and says he’s confident the idiosyncratic megastar will do them all, would get only 6-1 if he turns out to be right.

“I think most punters will be wanting 25-1 about him doing them all,” an East Anglian independent bookmaker told Pollstar, suggesting Boylesports’ 6-1 won’t attract many bets and the company won’t get stuck with any huge liabilities if Jackson justifies Phillips’ confidence.

Boylesports is offering 7-2 against the former megastar doing somewhere between 21 and 30, and 5-1 against him doing 31 to 40.

Irish independent bookies are known to have an impish sense of humour when chalking up the odds on novelty bets, and this isn’t the first time one has run a book on Michael Jackson.

Four or five years ago, after about a couple of decades of media speculation about Jackson’s changes in appearance being attributed to cosmetic surgery, Paddy Power – Ireland’s largest bookmaker – was offering 20-1 against his nose falling off.