Elton John told a celebrity packed audience at last night's iTunes Festival that he "loves One Direction".

The group's Harry Styles was amongst the crowd and John began a shout out to him from the stage: "Thanks to the fabulous Harry Styles..." when the crowd began booing.

John quickly responded with: "I love One Direction, **** off".

The booing didn't seem to upset Styles who later tweeted: "@eltonjohndotcom is a living legend."

Following his recent health scare, John also told the star-studded audience: "This is a magical time to be alive."

Benedict Cumberbatch and Stephen Fry were also amongst the crowd at John's 90-minute concert where he played classics such as Rocket Man, Saturday and I'm Still Standing at the London concert.

Dressed in his usual flamboyant attire, a tail coat encrusted with crimson sequins, he told the crowd: "This is a magical time to be alive.

"I have such a wonderful life, I have such a wonderful partner.

"Music has been the biggest part of my life since I was three years old.

"The best part is to play live, and to play live for you guys."

The 66-year-old, who cancelled a number of events after he was diagnosed with appendicitis earlier in the summer, added: "I want to say thank you to my record company...

"And of course to my angel David (Furnish) out there. Thank you so much."

Speaking in July after his illness, he said: "I knew I was sick but I didn't know I had such a dangerous thing inside of me until I had a scan, which was after nine shows, 24 flights and a summer ball. I could have easily died.

"Of course, your sense of your mortality kicks in. This is a wake-up call. I'm 66, not 36 any more. I want to write another musical for Broadway and I want to spend more time with my children. I don't have to tour. I don't need the money. I just love playing.

"When I had the operation, I said: 'This has got to stop, this is crazy. Why am I doing this?' I'm a great believer in signs coming to you in life to tell you something.

"This appendix thing, it's so lucky I didn't die. So I'm treating is as a sign in great big letters"