Rod Stewart: Elton and I compare album sales by text

Rod Stewart has revealed that he and Sir Elton John regularly text each other comparing their album sales.

Worldwide success has evidently not dampened the glee of outdoing his old friend as Stewart told Alan Carr that his Another Country album was beating Sir Elton's Wonderful Crazy Night.

Talking on Chatty Man about Sir Elton, Stewart said: "We have been in contact with each other a lot lately - emailing each other and bitching everybody out.

"Our albums came out at more or less the same time and we have been comparing how the sales are ... I'm winning."

Asked whether they were still as competitive as in their younger days, Stewart, 71, said: "We still are. We text back and forth with each other - how many albums I've sold and how many albums he has sold."

And their love of a gossip and a moan together has earned some unusual nicknames.

"We are known as Phyllis and Sharon. Long John Baldry gave us that nickname. I'm Phyllis and he is Sharon," Stewart said.

Hip-thrusting Stewart, whose residency at The Colosseum in Las Vegas was voted the best in town last year and has just been extended, was diplomatic about whether the news bothered Sir Elton and his The Million Dollar Piano show.

"We are still fairly competitive but I wouldn't have thought he would have minded.

"His is a different show. His is more stationary, if I may use that word," he said.

Stewart said he had scaled back the "rock and roll" elements of his tour these days, preferring to fit shows around his youngest sons' - Alastair, 10, and Aiden, five - school holidays.

"When the other kids were growing up I was working so much that I missed them, especially with Sean and Kimberly, the first two. I missed them growing up and I'm making up for it now," he explained.

Stewart also makes time to watch his wife Penny Lancaster every time she takes her seat as a panellist on chat show Loose Women.

"I love watching her. I'm proud of her. She does a really good job."

Asked about whether he is ever worried she will spill too many beans on their relationship, he replied: "No.

"She wouldn't be married to me if she was that type of girl.

"She is very thoughtful and loving and a great mum, and great wife, a great mate, soulmate - all those things. I've been very lucky."

For their tenth wedding anniversary next year, Stewart said the pair were planning to do a "re-run" of their wedding.

"We are going to do what we did 10 years ago and go down to Italy with all the same friends and do it all over again."

Alan Carr Chatty Man airs on Channel 4 at 10pm.