Russian pranksters say they impersonated Russian President Vladimir Putin in a hoax phone call to British singer Elton John. Vanessa Johnston reports.
Russian comedians renowned for pranking celebrities and politicians...have now turned their sights on British singer Elton John. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH SINGER, ELTON JOHN AND RUSSIAN COMEDIAN, ALEKSEI STOLYAROV (PRETENDING TO BE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT'S PRESS-SECRETARY DMITRY PESKOV) TALKING OVER STILL OF DMITRY PESKOV, SAYING: ELTON JOHN: Hello! PRANKSTER "LEXUS": Sir Elton, hello! ELTON JOHN: Hello Dimity, how are you? PRANKSTER "LEXUS": I am fine, I will be an interpreter between you and Mr. Putin. That was Aleksei Stolyarov -- also known as Lexus -- playing the part of Russian President Vladimir Putin's press secretary. His comedic partner, known as "Vovan", explains how they came up with the prank. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PRANKSTER "VOVAN", SAYING: "Last week the biggest news internationally was the meeting between Sir Elton John and the Ukraine's President Poroshenko, and also the statement by Elton John that he really wants to meet with Vladimir Putin and to talk to him about LGBT problems in Russia. That is why we decided to simulate such conversation, to find out what Elton John would have said if Vladimir Putin indeed called him." (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUDIO OF ELTON JOHN SAYING OVER STILL OF PUTIN TALKING ON PHONE: "Well I think the violence towards LGBT people, they don't feel safe, but this is something I do not really want to talk about over the phone, to be honest with you Dimitry. This is something that I can have a dialogue with the president face to face, and I would welcome that, because you know, things get done better when you see somebody and you meet them." At the end of the 11 minute conversation, John called it "wonderful moment" in his life. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUDIO OF ELTON JOHN SAYING OVER STILL OF PUTIN TALKING ON PHONE: "I love Russia, it's been part of my life since 1979 and I just want to make the situation better if I can." John's representatives did not immediately return calls for comment after the prank was revealed.