What to watch this weekend
PUBLISHED: 00:01 11 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:13 12 November 2017
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This weekend’s best TV: Elton John: The Nation’s Favourite Song, The Queen’s Favourite Animals, Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance
Elton John: The Nation’s Favourite Song, ITV, Sunday, 9pm
I mean surely this is a no-brainer, yes? If it’s not Your Song*, I’m going to have to have words.
The nation is set to choose its favourite Elton John song in this new 90-minute special that goes in-depth with the pop superstar, pays tribute to his amazing five decades in the music business and marks the year of his 70th birthday.
The show features contributions from some of Sir Elton’s closest friends and best-known fans - including Ed Sheeran, Sting, Annie Lennox, Sir Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie, Chris Martin, Billy Joel, Kiki Dee, Rag’n’Bone Man, James Corden, Lulu, Stephen Fry, Boy George, Dionne Warwick, Sharon Osbourne and Rob Lowe.
And in a candid new interview with David Walliams, Sir Elton reveals how his classic songs came about, many stemming from his incredible 50-year partnership with lyricist Bernie Taupin, as an exclusive ITV poll counting down to the track voted the nation’s favourite Elton John song.
The singer-songwriter’s full repertoire of pop and rock classics is explored - including hits like Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting), Rocket Man, Candle In The Wind, Your Song, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Crocodile Rock, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, I’m Still Standing, Philadelphia Freedom and Are You Ready For Love.
Among the topics discussed during the countdown are Sir Elton’s famously outrageous outfits, which he maintains were inspired by a reaction to his relatively conservative upbringing in Pinner, Middlesex - I’m not sure that Pinner can really be responsible for the feathered headdresses, cloaks, hot pants, jumpsuits, clown suits, Minnie Mouse outfits, French maid get-ups, Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty costumes or the Donald Duck look. But if it is, THANK YOU PINNER.
“As a kid I wasn’t really allowed to wear pointy-toe shoes or chisels, so in my 20s I exploded... The freedom to do the clothes was just fabulous, because you know, I’m not the normal rock ’n’ roll looking star, I’m not svelte, I’m not you know leopardskin outfit like Rod [Stewart] who looks so fabulous with the hair and everything, so I had to do my own thing,” he tells Walliams.
Sir Rod Stewart sums it up to Elton: “You’re sort of fair game if you’re in the public eye. But I think both of us now are revered by the press and loved by the British public because we’re both a couple of queens… I mean knights.”
• Preferably the version in Moulin Rouge recorded by Ewan McGregor, but I *suppose* Sir Elton’s version of his own song is OK too.
The Queen’s Favourite Animals, Channel 4, Sunday, 8pm: Have you ever wondered what the Queen’s love for Corgis is all about? Or just how involved she is with her thoroughbred racing horses? And does she really breed Highland cattle? Wonder no longer. This lovely programme presents the Queen as the countrywoman she is and tells the story of her life and character through her animals,
Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance 2017, BBC1, Saturday, 9pm: Another right royal recommendation - this year’s festival will be performed at the Royal Albert Hall in front of Her Majesty the Queen and other dignitaries and will mark the centenary of the First World War Battle Passchendaele, 100 years since the formation of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the 75th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein and Dame Vera Lynn’s 100th birthday.