SIR Elton John and director Stephen Daldry are celebrating after their hit London show BILLY ELLIOTT was named Best Musical at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards last night (27NOV05).

Lyricist Lee Hall, Daldry, John and his partner DAVID FURNISH - who executive produced the musical - picked up the trophy at a glitzy ceremony at the Savoy Hotel in the British capital.

John enthused, "Billy Elliot was one of the most enjoyable things I've ever been involved with. The more I work in theatre the more I love it."

Meanwhile, Simon Russell Beale claimed Best Actor for THE PHILANTHROPIST and Harriet Walter won Best Actress for MARY STUART, while BRIAN FRIEL's drama THE HOME PLACE was named Best Play.