Rupert Everett has accused SIR Elton John of being "bossy and cranky" after he criticised his pal Madonna for lip-synching on her RE-INVENTION world tour.

The British actor became close friends with Madonna when the pair teamed up in film flop The Next Best Thing and he has stepped in to defend her after Elton attacked the singer during The Q Awards ceremony in London.

Bitchy Elton slammed Madonna for charging fans upwards of $75 (GBP41.60) to see her perform and then lip-synching certain songs - criticism Everett has taken to heart.

He fires back, "I don't understand what he's got against her because this is the second time he's stuck into her a bit. That seems really unfair to me.

"Listen, any singer who dances all the time, you don't have the breath to sing all the time. Everyone knows that. It's unfair to make it a point. If you do a heavy dance routine, at some point you're going to do a bit of lip-synch. But everybody does that.

"Madonna sings everything she can sing but, if she goes into a dance routine, she's got to dance; you can't breathe and dance and sing at the same time. She doesn't lip-synch her whole performance.

"I bet Elton has lip-synched moments of his performance, even though he's at a piano all the time.

"He's very bossy these days, I think. I mean he's lovely but he's a bit bossy and he does seem a bit cranky."

06/10/2004 03:19