The Tiny Dancer hitmaker was targeted by Vladimir Krasnov and Alexei Stolyarov, better known as Vova and Lexus, after expressing his desire to talk to the Russian leader about the country's anti-gay laws.

Sir Elton did not find out he had been fooled until after he had gone online to thank 'Putin' for making time to talk to him, and the prank call was later broadcast in full on Wednesday night (16Sep15).

The veteran singer has now opened up about the incident in a message posted on his page, sharing a picture of two men, one with a bloodied nose, and expressing his hope that the prank will shine a light on the problems in Russia.

He writes, "Pranks are funny. Homophobia, however is never funny. I love Russia and my offer to talk to President Putin about LGBT rights still stands. I will always stand up for those that are being degraded and discriminated against. If this unfortunate incident has helped push this vital issue back into the spotlight, then I am happy to be pranked on this occasion."