Elton John still standing tall after 50 fantastic years
Ian Burrell is Assistant Editor and Media Editor at The Independent, i paper and Independent on Sunday. He covers news from the whole media sector from television, press, radio and advertising to technology. His weekly column on the media appears every Monday in The Independent and i paper. He also writes on media, music and culture, including long-form pieces for The Independent’s Saturday magazine and the Independent on Sunday’s magazine, New Review. He is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s What The Papers Say and a specialist commentator to Monocle 24 radio. He has contributed to most major broadcast outlets including BBC television and radio, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and LBC. He has also written on media for GQ magazine. Ian has been reporting on the media industry for The Independent for more than a decade. Previously he was the newspaper’s Home Affairs Editor. He worked at The Sunday Times for five years, including as a member of the investigative Insight team, covering stories on political funding, industrial espionage and the arms industry. Previously he worked in ITV for London Weekend Television, on a weekly current affairs programme presented by Danny Baker. Ian trained at the Birmingham Post & Mail and was Regional Reporter of the Year in Press Gazette’s national awards.
Monday 07 April 1997
The pop star, usually only 5ft 8in, stood 9ft tall in his hand-made period outfit, and the extra height meant he could not travel to the 530-guest bash at Hammersmith Palais, west London, by conventional transport.
Instead, he hired the van - decorated to resemble an 18th-century French drawing-room - to make the short hop from his house in Holland Park. He was hoisted into it on a hydraulic platform along with the two attendants bearing his 35ft silver and white train. As he left the house to gasps from onlookers, Elton said it had taken him more than two hours to get into the pounds 50,000 costume.
In the van, draped in red velvet, were gold thrones for Elton and his friend David Furnish and chairs for the attendants, along with flowers and paintings to amuse them en route. They were probably glad of the entertainment, since their journey was delayed by at least 45 minutes as a result of the traffic chaos generated by his celebrity friends descending on the Palais in a long line of limousines.
The pop group Take That were briefly reunited but tried to hide their identity by wearing masks. The husband-and-wife comedians Dawn French and Lenny Henry arrived dressed as Michael Jackson and his pet monkey, Bubbles.
Guests sat down to a meal of Asian and Chinese food surrounded by thousands of pounds' worth of flowers.
Music was provided by Boy George as DJ, along with a gospel choir.
The singer Paul Young, dressed as a Cavalier, said: "It was the most brilliant thing I have ever seen."
For the American pop star Billy Joel, the party was "totally wild". He said: "It was like being back in the Sixties."
- 1 Video shows how to turn your phone into a 3D hologram
- 2 Artist Jamie McCartney: How The Great Wall of Vagina is a stand against 'body fascism'
- 3 Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
RideLondon 2015: Cyclist dies while climbing highest hill in Surrey during sportive
Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
Tensions flare as Confederate flag supporter reaches for gun when confronted by protests – in pictures
'Gene drive': Scientists sound alarm over supercharged GM organisms which could spread in the wild and cause environmental disasters
Tom Cruise: Reporters banned from asking actor about Scientology
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
Up to 70k DOE: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Financial Director ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Production Planner is require...
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst vacancy with a we...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic and interes...