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VIDEO: Elton John describes Wilko Johnson as a genius at GQ Awards
8:40am Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
LEGENDARY guitarist Wilko Johnson was surprised when he presented Sir Elton John with a Genius award–only for Elton to hand it back.
Wilko, from Westcliff, was at the GQ Awards to present music superstar Elton with the accolade.
But he was stunned when Elton immediately handed it back to him, saying: “You’re the genius here.”
Wilko, a founding member of Seventies rhythm and blues band Dr Feelgood, was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer at the end of last year and has chosen not to undergo chemotherapy, as he wants to live his remaining time to the full.
Speaking afterwards, Wilko said he was “very, very touched” by the gesture.
He said: “I didn’t expect it, but I’ll probably put the award on my mantlepiece, like you’re supposed to.”
Elton continued paying tribute to Wilko at the posh awards event, during which Hollywood star Michael Douglas was declared a legend.
After giving his award to Wilko, Elton also said: “He’s too busy living life to think about dying.”
After being diagnosed, Wilko announced he would never perform again and had to pull out of some gigs.
However, his love of music meant he could not stay away from the stage for long and he has made a number of appearances on stage since, with a major highlight being at the Village Green Festival in Chalkwell Park, Westcliff, earlier this summer.
The annual GQ Awards, now in their 16th year, honour the most talented, stylish and inspirational men in the public eye.
The Genius award was being given to Sir Elton John in recognition of his 30 solo albums in the last 44 years.
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