Elton John relished reliving his childhood memories for this year’s (18) John Lewis Christmas advert.
Elton, real name Reginald Dwight, is the latest star to team up with the retailer – and this year their ‘The Boy and the Piano’ promo focuses on his rise from north London schoolboy to rock legend.
The commercial features Elton’s iconic ballad Your Song, which was previously used in John Lewis’ 2010 advert when Ellie Goulding covered the track.
“It’s been a lovely opportunity for me to reflect on my life in music and the incredible journey I have been on, and how first playing my Grandmother’s piano marks the moment when music came into my life,” The Rocket Man singer said in a press release. “The ad is absolutely fantastic and I’ve truly loved every minute of being a part of it.”
The ad begins with the music legend playing his piano in the present day, before showing him at the height of his career delighting fans at stadium and arena shows as well as on a private plane. It later cuts to a schoolboy performance as Elton is cheered on by his proud mother and grandmother and concludes with a scene in which his family buys a piano for Christmas – on which the young Reg Dwight, portrayed by four-year-old Freddie Henderson, played his first notes.
The other actors who played the singer at various ages were 10-year-old Hudson Trindall, Brandon Stein, who depicted him as a teen, Oliver Marshall, who played him as a young adult, and Simon Burbage, who took up the role of Elton in middle-age.
His involvement in the campaign has been rumoured for months, with reports claiming the star was paid $6.4 million (£5 million). However, John Lewis reps claim the figure is, “wildly inaccurate” – stating that their spend is similar to previous years – and a portion of the 71-year-old’s fee was donated to his Elton John Charitable Trust.
As part of the campaign the retailer is selling pianos for the first time in 70 years, and the set from the advert, including the iconic instrument, has been recreated in their flagship London Oxford Street store.