Elton John was 'paid £5m to star in John Lewis Christmas ad'

Elton John performing at Twickenham Stoop, 2017 - Getty Images
Elton John performing at Twickenham Stoop, 2017 - Getty Images

Sir Elton John will star in this year's John Lewis Christmas advert, sources close to the production have claimed.

The singer's fee for the performance is rumoured to be in the region of £5million – half the advert's reported budget of £10million – according to the Mail on Sunday.

The newspaper claims his 1970 hit Your Song will feature in a TV commercial for the department store, and that the singer himself will appear onscreen playing the piano.

The song has proven attractive to advertisers, featuring earlier this year in a campaign for Samsung's Galaxy Watch.

A cover version of Your Song sung by Ellie Goulding was used for John Lewis's 2010 Christmas advert, and reached number two in the UK singles chart.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, an anonymous insider described as "a source on the set" said the advert will chart the course of Sir Elton's life.

"It’s a tear-jerker but also very sweet, and follows Elton from a child, through his teenage years, into how he is today," they said. "It is all very, very charming and the exciting crescendo at the end will be Elton playing his famous piano."

The source added: "John Lewis wanted to win the battle of the Christmas adverts this year and it has cost them a significant sum to do it, but they think having Elton on board will guarantee its popularity and blow Marks & Spencer out of the water." The tabloid claims filming for the advert took place across four days at Pinewood Studios.

Sir Elton, 71, is one of the most popular recording artists of his generation, and has sold more than 300 million records worldwide. He has previously criticised the Mail for its inaccurate reporting, after the Daily Mail published an article in 2016 claiming he would retire the following year. "Don't believe what you read in the papers today," he warned at the time.

The Telegraph has contacted Sir Elton's representatives for comment.

In a statement given to The Telegraph, a John Lewis representative said: "We are lucky enough to enjoy lots of speculation around our TV ads, much of which is wildly inaccurate, and our one rule is to never comment on any aspect simply because we want to keep the magic."

Less well-known artists are usually featured in the department store's Christmas adverts, often singing acoustic cover versions of popular hits.

Previous years have seen Frankie Goes to Hollywood's The Power of Love sung by Gabrielle Aplin, the Guns N' Roses song Sweet Child o' Mine performed by Taken by Trees, and Norwegian singer Aurora covering Oasis's Half the World Away.

However, last year's advert featured a more established band – Mercury Prize-winners Elbow – singing a version of the Beatles' Golden Slumbers.