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Thursday, 14 September, 2000, 14:36 GMT 15:36 UK
Sir Elton deserts sell-out gig
Sir Elton John
Sir Elton became agitated when the concert venue was slow to fill
Superstar musician Sir Elton John walked out of a sell-out concert in Portugal on Wednesday evening - just half an hour before he was due on stage.

Sir Elton, who is currently on a world tour, was booked to play at the Estoril Casino near Lisbon.

Organisers say all tickets for the show had been sold but the audience members were slow in coming into the concert room.

Sir Elton walked out after becoming concerned that the venue was not going to fill-up.


It was a tantrum, but this kind of behaviour has consequences

Nuno Lima de Carvalho, Estoril Casino spokesman

According to Nuno Lima de Carvalho, a spokesman for the casino, Sir Elton gave no indication that he did not want to carry on with the concert.

"He said he was going out to get some air but then he jumped into his car and went to the airport to catch his private jet," said Lima de Carvalho.

"He never said goodbye or anything to anyone," he added.

The casino concert was to be held in front of an audience of 1,250 people.

Ticket-holders included many Portuguese government ministers, bank presidents and national newspaper editors.

Lima de Carvalho explained that before the show, most of the audience were in the casino dining room, where many lingered until the last minute.

However, with tickets for the show costing 154, Lima de Carvalho said no one was amused by Sir Elton's petulant behaviour.

"It was a tantrum, but this kind of behaviour has consequences," he said.

He added that the casino could take legal action over the incident.

Paul Carey, a spokesman for Sir Elton in London, said he couldn't comment because he didn't know anything about it.

The star is due to play in Marbella, Spain on Saturday.

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