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Tuesday, 22 May, 2001, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Elton has News for You
Elton John appearing on Parkinson in January 2000
Elton John on Parkinson in January 2000
Sir Elton John is shrugging off recent financial woes to be a panellist on BBC One's Have I Got News For You.

He follows previous guests such as disgraced politician Neil Hamilton, eco-warrior Swampy, Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy and actress Maureen Lipman.

Sir Elton will be on Paul Merton's team on Friday's edition of the show, while Ian Hislop will be joined by journalist Janet Street-Porter.

The singer's appearance on the show, notorious for its caustic treatment of guests, comes after a difficult few months for him.

Difficult

In October 2000, Sir Elton appeared in court as part of legal action against his former manager Andrew Haydon and accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Sir Elton John and Eminem embrace after their duet at the 2001 Grammy Awards
Sir Elton John and Eminem embrace after their duet at the 2001 Grammy Awards

The court case lasted 43 days, and included the revelation that he once spent 40m over a 20 month period, including 293,000 on flowers.

In April 2001 the judge found in favour of Mr Haydon and PwC, leaving Sir Elton with an estimated 8m in legal costs.

A week after the ruling, Sir Elton put 20 of his prized classic cars up for auction, saying he did not have enough time to drive them.

He also courted controversy in February 2001 by dueting with controversial rapper Eminem at the Grammy awards in the United States.

Biting wit

The programme has been notoriously hard on its guests at times. Former deputy Labour leader Roy Hattersley was once booked to appear, but failed to attend.

Rather than book a last-minute replacement, Paul Merton's team-mate was a tub of lard.

Angus Deayton, Paul Merton and Ian Hislop
Angus Deayton, Paul Merton and Ian Hislop
Similarly, Merton once had former spy David Shayler as his guest. Shayler was unable to re-enter the UK without being arrested, so his seat was replaced by a widescreen television upon which Shayler appeared via live satellite link from France.

See also:

18 Apr 01 | Showbiz
Sir Elton to sell classic cars
11 Apr 01 | Showbiz
Sir Elton may fight court ruling
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