Elton John: "Happy to be Pranked" by Russian Comedians

Elton John and Russian President Vladimir Putin

The singer tells the BBC he hopes the incident, in which two Russian comics pretended to call him as President Vladimir Putin, will put the issue of gay rights in Russia back in the spotlight.

Elton John has said he was "happy to be pranked" by two Russian comics who fooled him into believe President Vladimir Putin had called him to discuss gay rights.

The prank call by Alexei "Lexus" Stolyarov and Vladimir "Vovan" Krasnov — who have a long score care of spoof calls to Russian and Ukrainian celebrities — had put "vital" LGBT issues back into the spotlight, the British singer and gay rights advocate told the BBC.

John, who had publicized details of the call earlier this week on Instagram, believing he had spoken to Putin about gay rights in Russia, said he took it as a joke.

Writing on his Instagram account, John said: "Pranks are funny. Homophobia, however is never funny."

He added: "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."