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Two Specials This Weekend For UK Fans

Written by Chief Editor.

Elton’s first greatest hits album in a decade is set for “substantial” sales as it launches with an ITV special, according to ‎Universal Music Catalogue's Co-Managing Director Richard Hinkley.

Diamonds is out today, and formats will include a 3CD limited edition box set containing 51 tracks, including a disc of the Rocket Man’s personal favourites.

Speaking in this week's issue of Music Week, Hinkley said of the release: “We’ve got very high hopes – the numbers will certainly be substantial.”

The album will get a major boost with the 90-minute ITV special at 9 p.m. on Sunday (November 12). Elton John: The Nation’s Favourite Song is the latest in the channel’s regular music countdown series.

“There are very few music programmes that reach a wide audience,” remarked Hinkley. “The Nation’s Favourite on ITV is one of those – as a focus point for the launch of the campaign it’s a fantastic thing to have in our opening weekend.”

The Nation’s Favourite ABBA Song reached 5.7 million viewers in 2010. Four years ago, the Elvis Presley edition of the format scored ratings of 4.48m.

“We have got a stellar cast of guests as well as the interview from Elton himself,” said Hinkley. “It’s a line-up of talent from the worlds of music, fashion, film that haven’t been brought together in a programme like this before.”
 
The countdown will reveal the 20 most popular EJ songs as voted in a poll of ITV viewers, while the performer will discuss his career with David Walliams. Celebrity fans and friends including Bernie Taupin, Kiki Dee, Ed Sheeran, Annie Lennox, and Rag'N'Bone Man will weigh in. Also scheduled are Sting; Rod Stewart; Lionel Richie; Chris Martin; Billy Joel; James Corden; Lulu; Stephen Fry; Boy George; Dionne Warwick; Sharon Osbourne; and Rob Lowe.

The release of Diamonds marks the 50-year partnership between Elton and Bernie Taupin.

“The interest around Elton is considerable and ITV have been wanting to do this programme for some time,”  Hinkley declared. “This year around the anniversary just felt like the right time.”

He added: “Everyone that’s seen the programme has said it’s amazing, everybody that’s taken part has been delighted to take part in it and Elton’s enjoyed it as well.”

BBC Radio 2 will also have an Elton John broadcast. On Sunday afternoon, the station will air Johnnie Walker Meets Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin, running from 3 p.m.-5 p.m.