Elton John has dubbed his husband David Furnish 'Yoko' because he  is ' so unpopular' since he began to manage the singer, while the couple have "changed some assistants."

The Yoko reference harks back to the oft-publicised tensions that existed between John Lennon's wife Yoko Ono and the three other Beatles.

 "I call him Yoko now because a lot of people don't like what he's doing," joked Elton to The Sun.  

Elton assured the newspaper that Furnish's decisions were not universally unpopular and that his record company Universal had in fact never been happier.

The singer-songwriter said he still hoped to discuss gay rights with Vladimir Putin 'over a cup of tea.' Elton and Furnish became civil partners in 2005 and married in 2014. He plans to take up the offer to meet the Russian president, despite a number of mischievous phone calls from individuals impersonating the president.

In the course of his remarks to The Sun, Elton also paid tribute to the couple's two sons and said they were the reason for his happiness.