Elvis look-alikes across the globe will squeeze into their rhinestone-studded jumpsuits, fix their sideburns and slick back their quiffs for the King's 70th birthday bash today.

"Elvis is more popular than ever in Britain," said Elvis Presley impersonator Martin Fox, 52, from Blackpool in northern England. "He is at the height of his popularity since his death."

Fox, whose favourites are Suspicious Minds and The Wonder of You, expects a 300-strong crowd from across Europe at his three-day Elvis convention in Blackpool today and tomorrow, aimed at finding the continent's best Elvis impersonator.

King worship has a long tradition in Britain the 20,000-strong Elvis Presley Fan Club was founded in 1957, a year after the soulful rebel burst on the music scene.

Elvis's 18 number one singles are to be re-released in limited edition at a rate of one a week in Britain, ranging from 1957's All Shook Up to 2002's A Little Less Conversation and complete with the original artwork and a collector's box.

Industry pundits say Jailhouse Rock is on course to reach the UK number one tomorrow, according to mid-week sales, which would make it the 999th single to hit the top.

"It would be a fantastic and truly fitting way to celebrate Elvis's landmark birthday," said Gennaro Castaldo, spokesman for music retailer HMV.

Next week's release, One Night, could then be carried to 1,000th place on a tide of birthday publicity, pundits say.

Presley's music also remains hugely popular in France, where audiences flocked in their thousands to see the tribute musical Elvis Story last year. The show is returning to Paris at the end of January for a two-and-a-half-month run. "We celebrate his birthday with all the fans every year," said Patrick Renassia, manager of the Elvis My Happiness shop in central Paris, which sells Elvis memorabilia. Fans will meet for a tribute concert by Elvis cover bands, he said.

Elvis' Graceland home in Memphis, where the King of Rock'n'Roll died in August 1977 of a heart attack aged 42, will be a focus for US celebrations.

Four days of birthday events include a concert of his music played by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and a scavenger hunt at Graceland, according to Elvis' official website.