BBC reporter who was the first to see Elvis dead in his coffin admits truths

‘We are sure that you, standing in the cemetery, were the first person to report that some people were refusing to believe that he was dead . . . and, well, there have been numerous alleged sightings of him over the years.’

I was interviewed and the programme re-ran my report from 1977. What he didn’t ask was how I could know for sure that it was Elvis in the coffin.

And of course, I couldn’t. I had never seen him in the flesh before that morning.

So, when you next read about Elvis Presley being spotted, aged 83, down at the chip shop or on the Moon, you now know who to blame: Me.

At the very moment Elvis’s coffin was being lowered into its grave at Forest Hill, his latest record went to No 1 in the U.S. and the UK.

Its title? Way Down. Its chorus? ‘Way down, down, way, way on down’. Strange.

Tomorrow, on the anniversary of his death, Elvis fans will be packing 250 cinemas across the UK and Ireland for a special screening of his famous ‘Comeback’ concert in 1968, broadcast by the American NBC network 50 years ago.

After seven years making films, the then 33-year-old had wanted to get back to live music and had never sounded or looked better — relaxed, svelte, dressed top to toe in black leather with the curling lip and piercing stare as provocative as ever.

Diehard fans fell in love with him all over again and it won him a legion of new, younger admirers.

That show was credited with putting him back on top, which is where he stayed until his death was revealed to a shocked world on a sunny afternoon just nine years later.

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