When Gail Costello from Scarborough had a birthday recently, she decided to don Michael Jackson fancy dress from his Motown days to pay tribute to the late star.

However, as she and a group of friends embarked upon a pub crawl around the town, they were asked to leave by the manager of the local Wetherspoons, the Daily Star reports.

The birthday girl and her pals were told to Beat It because they had 'blacked up' for the costumes and pub bosses feared it would upset fellow drinkers.

"I'm a massive Michael Jackson fan and thought it would be a good tribute," a crestfallen Ms Costello commented.

Unperturbed, the party headed to some of Scarborough's smaller venues and were rewarded with Jackson 5 hits on the jukeboxes and praise from other revellers.

Ms Costello could have got around the ban by opting for Michael Jackson fancy dress based on his costumes from the late 1990s, when he wore sunglasses and long straight hair to shade his pale complexion from the sun.