Elton John has praised UK singer and It's a Sin star Olly Alexander for being 'hilariously funny' and talented like his late friend, Queen's Freddie Mercury.

Speaking to Alexander on his radio show, Rocket Hour, Elton discussed Ritchie Tozer, the character the young actor plays on Channel 4 hit drama It's A Sin. 

The series, which is a firm favourite of Elton's, depicts the lives of the gay community in London during the HIV/AIDS crisis from 1981 to 1991.

Referring to Mercury, who died in 1991 due to complications from AIDS, Elton said, "I miss him every day because he was such, a bit like you (Olly), positive, full of life, full of energy, hilariously funny, and what a talent."

Olly as Ritchie with the It's a Sin cast

"Having spoken to you on the phone and now speaking to you in person I get the feeling that you in real life are not very far away from Ritchie, the character in It's a Sin?"

Alexander admitted the comparison with his on-screen persona. "We share a lot of similarities - at 18-years-old I moved to London, that's what I did to make a name for myself. I wanted to be an actor, I wanted to be a musician, and I really related to that with Ritchie straight away."

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As well as being a tireless activist on behalf of LGBTQ, the actor and musician is the lead singer with the synth-pop outfit Years & Years.

"You have so much life in you, no matter what you do, whether you’re making music, whether you're acting, you have this great spirit," said Elton, who is now 73. "I love people with that kind of positivity."

Elton: in praise of Olly