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Sir Elton John: I had to learn to walk again after I came close to dying

Sir Elton John has revealed how close he was to death (Ian West/PA)
Sir Elton John has revealed how close he was to death (Ian West/PA)

Sir Elton John has said he was terrified he would not live to see his children grow up and had to learn to walk again after he contracted an infection following surgery for prostate cancer.

The superstar musician, who is father to sons Zachary and Elijah with husband David Furnish, previously revealed in his autobiography Me that he was successfully treated for cancer two years ago but then became ill with an infection.

Speaking to Graham Norton in the BBC programme Elton John: Uncensored, Sir Elton said he has an “annus horribilis” as he struggled with his health.

Elton John
Sir Elton John, left, and Graham Norton (Chris Yacoubian/BBC)

He said: “I was on stage in Vegas in a lot of pain, fluid had built up under my colon.

“I did the show and was wearing nappies shortly after the operation. I thought ‘If only they knew right now that I’m pissing myself’.

The singer added that he was rushed to hospital in London, where he was “24 hours from snuffing it”, and continued: “I had to learn to walk again. I was extremely sick.

“I said: ‘Don’t let me die, I want to see my children grow up.’”

Elton John and David Furnish
Elton John with his partner David Furnish (Matt Crossick/PA)

He joked there is “very little of me left” after having his prostate removed and losing his hair.

Discussing his response to going bald, he said he is very happy with the hair piece he now wears. He said: “Yes I’m bald. I don’t like being bald so I wear a toupee.”

He joked: “I pray to it every night.”

The documentary also features footage from Top Of The Pops, which has not been seen for 41 years, which shows Sir Elton’s former partner and manager John Reid accompanying him on guitar during a performance of Rocketman.

Elton John Court Case Reid
John Reid used to be the singer’s manager (Johnny Green/PA)

It also sees him discuss his complex relationship with his mother Sheila, who he reconciled with before she died in 2017.

He said: “I thought I have to reach out to my mum. Things hadn’t been good but you have to forgive people.

“Towards the end of her life she got more difficult. She didn’t approve of the civil partnership, didn’t approve of David. She didn’t like anyone who was closer to me than she was.”

Elton John: Uncensored is on BBC One at 9pm on November 28.

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