SIR Elton John branded photographers in Taiwan "rude, vile pigs" yesterday in an airport outburst as the musician arrived in the country to play the last date in his tour of the Far East.
After touching down at Taipei’s Chiang Kai-Shek airport by private jet in the early hours yesterday, Sir Elton was besieged by photographers and television crews.
The Taiwanese news channel ETTV showed the star, dressed in a royal blue tracksuit and matching sunglasses, clenching his teeth and muttering expletives as he stood with his arms crossed tightly across his chest.
"Rude, vile pigs!" he shouted. "Do you know what that means? Rude, vile pigs. That’s what all of you are."
One of the photographers shouted back: "Why don’t you get out of Taiwan?"
Sir Elton replied: "We’d love to get out of Taiwan if it’s full of people like you. Pig! Pig!"
The musician, who recently performed in Shanghai and Hong Kong, said: "We had a great tour of the Far East and then we come to Taiwan."
A spokeswoman for Sir Elton last night accused police and airport security officials of failing to protect the star.
"Elton John’s arrival at Taipei airport was greeted by what can only be described as chaos and confusion," the spokeswoman said.
"No sooner had he disembarked from the aircraft, he was led into the public immigration area of the airport, which was immediately besieged by hordes of photographers and live television crews intent upon disrupting his progress.
"The local police and security at the airport failed to protect Elton John from the ensuing chaos."
Speaking later at the concert at the Chung Shan football stadium, Sir Elton said the photographers were the rudest people he had ever met during his travels around the world and added that he meant every word he said to them.
It is not the first time the singer, 57, has lost his temper in public.
In the fly-on-the-wall documentary Tantrums and Tiaras, made by his partner, David Furnish, Sir Elton famously threw a fit when a female fan waved at him and shouted "Yoo hoo!" on the tennis court of his French Riviera hotel, prompting him to storm off court saying: "I’m never coming back to the south of France again."