'It's a fantastic focus point for the launch': ITV special to boost Elton John's greatest hits

'It's a fantastic focus point for the launch': ITV special to boost Elton John's greatest hits

Elton John’s first greatest hits album in a decade is set for “substantial” sales as it launches with an ITV special, according to Universal Music Catalogue co-MD Richard Hinkley.

Diamonds is released today (November 10) and formats will include a 3CD limited edition box set containing 51 tracks, including a disc of John’s personal favourites.

Speaking in this week’s issue of Music Week, Hinkley said of the release: “We’ve got very high hopes – the numbers will certainly be substantial.”

The album will get a major boost with the 90-minute ITV special at 9pm following The X Factor on Sunday (November 12). Elton John: The Nation’s Favourite Song is the latest in the channel’s regular music countdown series.

“There are very few music programmes that reach a wide audience,” said Hinkley. “The Nation’s Favourite on ITV is one of those – as a focus point for the launch of the campaign it’s a fantastic thing to have in our opening weekend.”

The Nation’s Favourite ABBA Song reached 5.7 million viewers in 2010. Four years ago, the Elvis Presley edition of the format scored ratings of 4.48m.

“We have got a stellar cast of guests as well as the interview from Elton himself,” said Hinkley. “It’s a line-up of talent from the worlds of music, fashion, film that haven’t been brought together in a programme like this before.”

ITV have been wanting to do this programme for some time

Richard Hinkley

The countdown will reveal the 20 most popular Elton John songs as voted in a poll of ITV viewers, while the singer will discuss his career with David Walliams. Celebrity fans and friends including Ed Sheeran, Annie Lennox, Chris Martin, Rag’N’Bone Man and longtime songwriting collaborator Bernie Taupin will discuss what the songs mean to them. 

The release of Diamonds marks the 50-year partnership between Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

“The interest around Elton is considerable and ITV have been wanting to do this programme for some time,” said Hinkley. “This year around the anniversary just felt like the right time.”

He added: “Everyone that’s seen the programme has said it’s amazing, everybody that’s taken part has been delighted to take part in it and Elton’s enjoyed it as well.”

Radio 2 will give the best of a further boost with Johnnie Walker Meets Sir Elton John, a two-hour special at 3pm on Saturday (November 12)

“We have got really first rate promotional plot,” said Hinkley.

To read the full story in the latest issue of Music Week, subscribers can click here. To Subscribe and never miss a big music industry story, click here.

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