Elton Touring Australia

THE big blank next to Sydney in Elton John's tour schedule looks likely to be filled with a Very Important Performance - as host of the 25th ARIA Awards.

The Rocket Man's fans here were most miffed on Sunday when his November tour was announced minus a show at his favourite venue, the Sydney Entertainment Centre, where he holds the record of 41 concerts.

But industry insiders yesterday cited Sydney's omission in his concert schedule as a sign John may be announced as the host of the 2011 awards, which are expected to be held in November.

He was at the top of ARIA's wishlist to play host as he was the master of ceremonies at the inaugural awards held at the Sheraton Wentworth Hotel in 1987.

He famously warned the well-oiled industry crowd then to keep the ARIAs off television "if you want these awards to stay fun".

"The only reason I agreed to do this is because it's not on television. If, in future years, you keep it like that, I think it means something more because it's much more personal," he said at the time. Those words may have haunted awards organisers last year after the car-crash broadcast which resulted in a ratings disaster for the music industry's night of nights.

But for the 25th anniversary, ARIA will be determined to have a hit with viewers and are negotiating with some of the biggest names here and overseas.

Promoter Michael Chugg hasn't ruled out adding a Sydney concert to the Hope Estate gig on December 3.

Elton announced a 2011 Australian tour over the weekend, scheduled to kick off in Brisbane on November 30, with dates in Melbourne, the NSW Hunter Valley, Adelaide and Perth, but Sydney was nowhere to be seen.

Apparently Elton has played a record number of shows at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, therefore causing it's omission from the tour schedule to bring speculation.

The ARIA Awards are generally held around late November, fitting perfectly with Elton's tour.

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