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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Michael Jackson's children reminisced on Monday about their "normal dad" in a rare TV interview that marked a transition to a less sheltered life.
"I kind of felt like no-one understood what a good father he was. I'd say he was the best cook ever," his daughter Paris Jackson, 12, told TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
"He was just a normal dad, except for he was, like, the best dad ever," she added.
Paris, her older brother Prince Michael, 13, and Prince Michael II, 8, who is also known as Blanket, were filmed with their grandmother and guardian Katherine Jackson and her husband Joe at the Jackson family compound in Los Angeles.
The interview was broadcast on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Monday.
Paris and Prince said they were adjusting well to school, which they started in September. Katherine Jackson, saying she wanted to give the children as normal a life as possible, said that shy Blanket wants to attend school next year.
Jackson kept his children secluded before his death in June 2009, and often had them wear veils in public.
Paris, the most talkative of the trio, said the veils were sometimes uncomfortable, but she appreciated that her father wanted to protect them.
"He tried to raise us without us knowing who he was, but that didn't really go so well," she said, adding that she hoped to be an actress. "I'd like to be an actress when I'm older. I sometimes do improv. I used to do it with my dad."
Prince said he liked videogames and sports and that he wants to produce movies and direct when he grows up.
Katherine Jackson said all three kids speak a lot about their father. "Paris, she's very emotional. She talks about him all the time, and she's a strong one. All the pictures on her wall in her bedroom are Michael," she said.
Katherine Jackson called the day Jackson died of a prescription drug overdose "the worst day of my life."
"You know what broke my heart more than anything else in this world? When people at the hospital told us 'You can leave now' and Paris said 'Grandma, where are we going?'," she told Winfrey.
Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, is awaiting trial on a charge of involuntary manslaughter. He has admitted giving Jackson what turned out to be a fatal dose of the powerful anesthetic Propofol to help him sleep.
Katherine Jackson told Winfrey that she had tried to stop what she called his addiction to painkillers and to plastic surgery procedures on his nose.
Her son's nose got so small that it looked "like a toothpick at one time. I had told him, 'that's enough, why do you keep going?'" she said.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant, editing by Christine Kearney