Monday 26 September 2016

Elton John agreed to attend Moscow gay pride rally in Vladimir Putin hoax call

Published 17/09/2015 | 01:24

Sir Elton John posted a picture of Vladimir Putin on his Instagram account
Sir Elton John posted a picture of Vladimir Putin on his Instagram account
Sir Elton John posted a picture of Vladimir Putin on his Instagram account
Sir Elton John posted a picture of Vladimir Putin on his Instagram account

Sir Elton John said he would attend a gay pride parade in Moscow during a hoax call with a man he believed to be Vladimir Putin.

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The singer said it was an honour to speak to "one of the most influential people in the whole world".

Two Russian TV presenters admitted pranking the Rocket Man singer by posing as the country's president during a phone call about gay rights.

Sir Elton posted a picture of Mr Putin on his Instagram account on Tuesday night to thank the president for "reaching out and speaking via telephone".

In a recording published online Sir Elton is heard to say a meeting between he and Putin in November would be "fantastic".

He said: "It's a great privilege to be able to speak to one of the most influential people in the whole world."

Sir Elton said one of his main concerns around gay rights is the issue of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT) people.

But he added that he would prefer to have a face-to-face conversation with the president rather than over the phone

He said: "I would welcome (dialogue) because things get done better when you see somebody and you meet them.

"If both our offices can find a convenient date where we can convene and have a really wonderful discussion ... that would be a miracle. It would be fantastic, and it would be a dream come true."

Pranksters Vladimir Krasnov and Alexei Stolyarov, better known as Vova and Lexus, claimed it had been easy to get in touch with Sir Elton, 68.

The musician publicly offered to talk with the Russian leader after meeting Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko at a conference to lobby him about LGBT rights.

Vova and Lexus said it seemed Sir Elton was "waiting for that call, so immediately believed in the reality" of the conversation.

Sir Elton is heard to profess his love for Russia during the call and said he just wants "to make the world a better place, that's all".

Towards the end of the conversation the man purporting to be a translator for the president asked whether Sir Elton would attend a gay pride parade in the Russian capital.

" If he wants me to come to Gay Pride in Moscow, yes I'll come to Gay Pride in Moscow," the singer and father-of-two said.

Sir Elton said the call with the man he thought was Mr Putin "made my day".

Press Association

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