John Lewis has launched its Christmas advert, which features Sir Elton John singing one of his most famous songs.
The much-anticipated two-minute advert was first distributed through personal social accounts of John Lewis partners on Thursday morning, with the company’s official channels following. The first TV broadcast will be at 9.15pm tonight during Dark Hearts on ITV.
The Boy and the Piano opens with John sitting alone at his piano playing a few notes. As the camera pans away the notes start to move into Your Song – his first major chart hit from 1970 – and the film launches into a backwards-in-time journey through his performing career.
The story continues to show John, portrayed by five actors, first as a teenager playing piano for people in a pub, then as a schoolboy performing at a recital and, finally, as a young boy receiving his grandmother’s piano as a Christmas present.
Some reports in the media had hinted that the singer was being paid as much as £5m to appear in the campaign, but Craig Inglis, customer director at John Lewis, said that this was "wildly inaccurate", insisting that the budget for the campaign was broadly in line with that of previous years.
But he did confirm that John’s fee was being donated to his foundation, the Elton John Charitable Trust, which, among other things, funds opportunities for children in music and sport.