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Birthday boy Elton receives a kiss from a Pearly Queen as he arrives for his party at Shoreditch Town Hall
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After his recent run-in with a journalist who handcuffed herself to him, Hugh looked somewhat nervous when a Pearly King and Queen took him in hand
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Oscar winner Thandie adopted a retro chic approach for the East London event
Photo: © Getty Images

Elton hosts cockney birthday bash in old London town

14 MARCH 2007

For many of the guests at Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar's epic nuptials the party hasn't stopped yet. Wedding invitees Trinny Woodall and designer Tom Ford were among the recent returnees from India attending Elton John's joint birthday party with artist pal Sam Taylor-Wood on Tuesday. But in contrast to the opulent maharaja festivities, Elton opted for a traditional cockney-style knees-up in Shoreditch Town Hall, East London, with the help of some Pearly Kings and Queens.

Not one to turn down the chance of donning fancy dress, the flamboyant superstar - who turns 60 on March 25 - dressed up in full regimental regalia, as did his partner David Furnish. Comedian Paul O'Grady also went for the military look - although more in keeping with Dad's Army than Officer And A Gentleman. Hugh Grant and Sir Paul McCartney, however, were among those who decided not to go digging into the costume box, keeping instead to traditional black tie.

As expected, the ladies pulled out all the stops with Thandie Newton, Natalie Imbruglia, Rosamund Pike and Skin opting for full-on glamour at the evening event. The celebrations are set to continue on Elton's actual birthday later this month when he performs a concert at New York's Madison Square Gardens, which will be followed by the release of his greatest hits album Rocket Man - Number Ones.

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