Bernie Taupin has revealed he rewrote Elton John’s Candle In The Wind in just 30 minutes for Princess Diana’s funeral.
The legendary 73-year-old songwriter has offered a rare insight into his career in his new memoir, including the hidden meaning behind the iconic track.
Speaking on Friday’s episode of The Graham Norton Show, Bernie revealed that Marilyn Monroe was not the original inspiration for Elton’s song when they were writing it together.
He said: “I liked the title of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s book, which is a metaphor for a life extinguished too soon.
“At the same time, I saw The Misfits and was fascinated by Montgomery Clift, who died young.
Insight: Bernie Taupin revealed he rewrote Elton John’s Candle In The Wind in just 30 minutes for Princess Diana’s funeral
“But then I wondered how many people would know who he was.
“Even if I didn’t like Marilyn Monroe, people would think she’s a much more fragile character and more representative of the ‘candle in the wind,’ so I’m glad I went with her. Otherwise, the story would have been very different.
Bernie then revealed that he and Elton rewrote the song in less than an hour as he planned to perform it at Diana’s funeral.
This is the only time Elton has performed this version of the song, and it went to number one on the charts.
He told Graham: “I rewrote it in half an hour, it wasn’t difficult. I’ve actually only heard it a few times – once at the funeral and once in the studio, so I don’t remember a word about it!’
Discussing his memoir, Bernie said: “IIt is fabulous. It’s extremely fun.
“I lived the same (rock and roll) lifestyle as all my contemporaries, with all the good things, but I lived it in the background.”
Explaining his and Elton John’s writing process, he says: “Elton always takes what he’s given and never questions what the lyrics are actually about until later in the day when it’s all recorded .”
Pals: Speaking on Friday’s episode of The Graham Norton Show, Bernie revealed that Marilyn Monroe was not the original inspiration for Elton’s song (pictured with the singer in 1971).
Famous: Elton and Bernie rewrote the song in honor of Princess Diana and performed it at her funeral
Reflection: The legendary songwriter offered a rare insight into his career in his new memoir, including the hidden meaning behind the iconic track
Interview: Catherine tATE discussed her role in West End play The Enfield Haunting
Blast from the past: Ashley Walters, who recently starred in the latest series of Top Boy, reflected on the show’s beginnings
Of the success of their songs, he says: “They definitely seem to have legs and keep coming back, which to me is the beauty of them. They seem timeless, which I really appreciate.
Actress Catherine Tate, Ashley Walters and Bill Bailey will also join Graham on the sofa, while Christine and the Queens will perform live in the studio.
Catherine discussed her role in West End play The Enfield Haunting, with Graham asking her if she believed the 1970s story of a child possessed by a poltergeist was real.
She said: “How can we know anything. It’s best to keep an open mind.
“We haven’t started rehearsing yet but I think there will be some really scary moments.”
Ashley, who recently starred in the latest series of Top Boy, reflected on the show’s beginnings, saying: “Channel 4 had the courage to broadcast it on terrestrial television when no one else would.
Performer: Bill Bailey was a guest on the show to discuss his upcoming Thoughtifier tour
Back soon: The Graham Norton Show will be broadcast on Friday October 6 at 10:40 p.m. on BBC One and iPlayer
“When it ended, I couldn’t forget him, so behind the scenes I continued the fight to bring him back.
“Eventually we were so lucky that Drake saw the YouTube clips, and about a year later Netflix wanted them.
“I have immense respect for what the show has done to open doors around the world.”
Bill was a guest on the show to discuss his upcoming Thoughtifier tour and told Graham: “It’s sort of about AI and how the arts are under threat, so it’s sort of of appeal to humanity, to the human experience, to our random nature as people, and the eccentric nature of creativity, which AI cannot do.
The Graham Norton Show airs on Friday October 6 at 10:40 p.m. on BBC One and iPlayer.