December 1, 2010 / 2:51 PM / 8 years ago

Elton John edits UK newspaper for World AIDS Day

Elton John (R) chats with Simon Kelner, editor of The Independent newspaper at their editorial offices in London November 30, 2010. John is the guest editor of the special World Aids Day edition of the British daily paper due out on Wednesday. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

LONDON (Reuters) - British singer/songwriter Elton John has taken time out from touring to edit daily newspaper The Independent on World AIDS Day.

Wednesday’s edition of the newspaper featured several pages of coverage of the fight against HIV as well as contributions from famous friends including comedian Stephen Fry and actress Elizabeth Taylor.

Proceeds from the day’s sales go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Simon Kelner, the Independent’s editor who stepped down for the day, said there was a danger that the threat of AIDS was being played down.

“It’s quite thrilling in one sense to have someone as eminent as Elton editing the paper,” he said.

“But also there’s a serious purpose to this, which is to focus on World AIDS day and to focus on the issues around AIDS which slightly don’t attract the focus that they used to.”

John admitted that his lack of computer experience could be a hindrance in his new job, which involved deciding on the layout of the pages.

“I’m a complete technopobe, so computers I don’t really deal with,” he said.

“I think if you’re doing a magazine, you can still do it like that (manually lay pages out), but if you’re doing a newspaper, it’s a pretty rushed job, you’ve got to do it on a computer screen.”

Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato

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