ELTON JOHN has taken a foul-mouthed but friendly swipe at pal Ed Sheeran for leaking news of a forthcoming Christmas duet.
While a festive collaboration between the two hit-makers is great news for fans, John wasn't too happy that Sheeran spilled the beans early.
The second-generation Irishman announced the project earlier this month during an interview with Dutch radio station NPO Radio 2.
Now John has confirmed the news, telling the NME he was chagrined by Sheeran's announcement, having worked hard to keep it under wraps.
"Yeah, he let the cat out of the bag didn't he?" John told the NME.
"I was sworn to secrecy and then big mouth f****** Sheeran goes to the Netherlands!
"It's supposed to come out — we haven't finished it yet, so there's still work to be done."
He added: "I can't say any more than that because it’s in his hands."
In his interview with NPO Radio 2, Sheeran revealed John mooted the duet idea following the recent success of an earlier Christmas song of his.
Step Into Christmas originally peaked at No. 24 after its release in 1973 but has reached No. 8 in Britain in each of the past two festive seasons.
Inspired, John approached Sheeran on Christmas Day last year about collaborating on a new festive song.
Sheeran was initially reticent, not feeling the song was suited for him, but changed his mind.
"You don't know if you'll still be there tomorrow, everything can change overnight," he told NPO Radio 2, as reported by the NME.
"I may not be here tomorrow. Why shouldn't I grab this opportunity?"
While a John/Sheeran duet seems a surefire bet for the British Christmas No. 1, they'll no doubt have competition in the form of blogger LadBaby.
The YouTube star, real name Mark Ian Hoyle, has scored the Christmas top spot in each of the last three years with his sausage roll-themed covers for charity.
Last year's chart-topper, Don't Stop Me Eatin' — a parody of Journey's Don't Stop Believin' — comprised two versions, with one featuring Irish singer Ronan Keating and Hoyle's wife Roxanne on vocals.