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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

Press Release

Sir Elton John announced as first artist for Radio 2 Electric Proms 2010

Sir Elton John
  • Radio 2 Electric Proms festival to launch on Thursday 28 October with Sir Elton John
  • BBC Two to present Saturday night TV specials
  • Music legend Leon Russell confirmed to join Sir Elton on stage
  • Rumer and Plan B to collaborate with Sir Elton

In a unique performance for the BBC, multi-Grammy Award-winning superstar Sir Elton John is teaming up with his mentor Leon Russell and their young fans Plan B and Rumer to celebrate Sir Elton and Leon's classic songs and launch the BBC Radio 2 Electric Proms.

The first of three Radio 2 Electric Proms for 2010 to be announced this week, this intimate concert from London's Roundhouse on Thursday 28 October will be broadcast live on Radio 2 and will form the centre piece of A Night With Sir Elton John on BBC Two on Saturday 30 October, together with a new documentary about Elton's life and musical journey. BBC Red Button and online will provide exclusive clips and behind the scenes footage from Saturday 30 October.

R2 Electric Proms: Sir Elton John will see the singer-songwriter, composer and pianist perform tracks from his new studio album, The Union, with his idol and major influence Leon Russell. Sir Elton will also wow the audience with classic tracks from his back catalogue which spans more than four decades, with over 250 million records sold.

Russell has worked with a roll call of artists during a 50-year career including the Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Frank Sinatra and the Rolling Stones, as well as penning classic songs like This Masquerade and Delta Lady. Elton played in front of Leon Russell at LA's tiny Troubadour club in 1970. British success followed with Your Song and Russell and Elton then toured the US together in the early Seventies.

Elton quickly became almost the house artist on BBC radio and TV for the next few years, swiftly becoming a global star. After losing touch, Elton listened to Russell's music in recent years, found him and together they recorded The Union. On 28 October Elton and Leon are back together and back with the BBC and will grace the stage with two pianos for a truly unique performance. Sir Elton will also be collaborating on stage with singer-songwriting sensation Rumer and the critically acclaimed rapper and vocalist Plan B.

Sir Elton says: "I'm delighted to be kicking off this year's Radio 2 Electric Proms, particularly as I'll be joined on stage by Leon who is one of my musical heroes. The performance will feature some very special guests and memorable moments."

Now one of the UK's most eagerly anticipated live music events, the festival was created five years ago by the BBC to create new moments in music by inviting legendary artists to present one-off collaborations and performances. 2010 is the first year that Radio 2 has produced the festival in its entirety, which runs from Thursday 28 October to Saturday 30 October 2010.

Bob Shennan, Controller Radio 2 and 6 Music, says: "Radio 2 is proud to be the new home of the Electric Proms and with Elton John launching this year's festival, I know it will be an exceptional event. Together with BBC Two, we'll be creating exciting new moments in music for both listeners and viewers and promise an unforgettable music experience."

BBC Two will present the A Night With... series on successive Saturday nights following the concerts. A Night With Sir Elton John will transmit on Saturday 30 October, featuring highlights of the gig presented by Chris Evans and Jo Whiley accompanied by a revealing documentary which includes an exclusive interview with Elton, highlighting his life and musical journey.

Jan Younghusband, Commissioning Editor, BBC Music and Events, comments: "It's great to welcome Sir Elton as the first in this initiative to give an open platform to great artists to author new musical collaborations. The BBC helped to launch his career in the UK in the early Seventies and we're delighted that he's coming home."

Rumer added: "It is a great honour to be asked to perform and I am so excited to have the opportunity to share a stage with two of the greats."

The BBC brings the best live music across TV, radio and online to audiences all year round, from major festival coverage at events like Glastonbury, T in the Park and Radio 1's Big Weekend to strands including Later…With Jools Holland and The Culture Show.

Special live music moments throughout 2010 have included The Mercury Music Prize, broadcast last week on BBC Two and 6 Music, and this year's successful Proms season, which included Radio 2's jazz programme presenter Jamie Cullum making his memorable Proms debut.

More acts for R2 Electric Proms will be announced this week. Tickets will go on sale later this month – stay tuned to Radio 2 for further details. Music fans can also sign up to the R2 Events newsletter via bbc.co.uk/radio2 to receive further Electric Proms updates.

Past artists who have performed at the Electric Proms include Sir Paul McCartney, featuring a rendition of Eleanor Rigby with a string quartet; Dame Shirley Bassey with guest appearances by James Dean Bradfield and Richard Hawley; Burt Bacharach with a guest appearance by Jamie Cullum; the last ever TV performance of James Brown; Robbie Williams with Trevor Horn as Musical Director, and Ray Davies with the Crouch End Chorus.

Audiences are guaranteed to see and hear something truly memorable at the R2 Electric Proms whether at the venue, watching on BBC Two on subsequent Saturdays, listening to Radio 2, tuning in online and interacting with red button technology or on mobile.

Notes to Editors

There will be a very restricted number of reduced price tickets (£5) that will be made available in the week of the festival.

Last year over 2,560,000 people watched the Electric Proms on Red Button and there were over 236,260 visitors to the Electric Proms website in the event week

Radio 2 Electric Proms on the BBC

The festival can be viewed and watched via a number of different platforms on the BBC:

Radio – there will be live and recorded broadcasts from all areas of the festival on Radio 2 each night of the event at 8pm. Singing This Song For You – The Leon Russell Story on Radio 2 will be broadcast on Wednesday 29 September at 10pm, produced by Wise Buddah.

TV – R2 Electric Proms: Sir Elton John will be broadcast on BBC Two on Saturday 30 October. A documentary featuring an exclusive interview and highlighting Sir Elton's musical history, career highlights and influences will also be broadcast.

Red Button and online will provide exclusive clips and behind the scenes footage from Saturday 30 October.

Full listings information will be available via the Radio 2 website.

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