Elton John red-faced as pranksters admit faking Putin call
Two Russian comedians say they impersonated President Vladimir Putin in a prank phone call to singer Elton John.
Vladimir Krasnov and Aleksei Stolyarov, known in Russia for targeting celebrities and politicians with their audacious stunts, say they called the singer a day after he told journalists he would like to meet Putin to discuss gay rights.
"Yes, it was us," Krasnov was quoted as saying by Russian media outlets. "I was 'Vladimir Putin'."
"He [Elton John] said: 'Thank you, you've made my day. This day and conversation have been the most remarkable and splendid of my life'."
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied that Putin had made the call and suggested it could have been a prank after Elton John posted a photo of the Russian president on Instagram thanking him for the conversation.
READ MORE: Elton John spoke to Putin over gay rights
Russia has been criticised by the West and human rights activists for its treatment of gay people and Elton John has campaigned publicly against a 2013 law banning the dissemination of "gay propaganda" among young people.
Krasnov and Stolyarov said part of the 11-minute call was to be played on Russian television last night, with a full recording released later.