THE UK's first professional Michael Jackson impersonator - also once hailed as the country's 'dad of the year' - has been accused of beating his wife.
Keith Preddie, who was crowned Britain's Best Dad by GMTV in 2010, is alleged to have carried out the attack at the family home in Clifton Road, Coulsdon, on December 19.
The 41-year-old, who also enjoyed low-level fame following an appearance on Channel 4's Come Dine With Me in 2011, denied a charge of "assaulting Emma Preddie by beating" when he appeared at Croydon Magistrates' Court on Thursday last week.
Asked how he pleaded to the charge, a teary-eyed Preddie, dressed in grey trousers and a fleece, told magistrates: "Not guilty."
Despite giving his address as Clifton Road, the court was told he was no longer staying there because of his police bail conditions.
Preddie was again granted bail on the condition he did not return to the family home or approach his wife, whom the Advertiser understands he has been married to for about two years.
When approached after the hearing, Preddie, a former Edenham High student, said he was unable to comment due to ongoing legal issues.
And he covered his face on leaving the court to shield himself from our photographer.
Preddie first performed as Michael Jackson in 1986, making him the UK's first professional impersonator of the superstar and securing him a number of TV appearances and top-billings in shows.
Since 2003 he has worked at the Family Centre in New Addington, where he was instrumental in setting up the It's Time For Dads support group.
It was as a result of this - and his dedication to his children - that he won breakfast TV programme GMTV's Britain's Best Dad award three years ago.
But since his appearance in court, a message has been posted on the father-of-three's Facebook page saying: "It is with huge regret that due to personal circumstances there will be NO 'It's time 4 dads stay n play' until further notice."
During his appearance on Come Dine With Me, Preddie repeatedly used the his idol's "Shamone" catchphrase, to the irritation of his guests.
But his TV bow proved a hit with some viewers and spawned a song of the same title, which became a minor hit in Germany.
Preddie also runs a mobile disco business, KP Discos.
A trial will be held on March 18 at Croydon Magistrates' Court.