'Next year - his balls' - Independent owner Evgeny Lebedev reveals why he has lost his beard

It used to be the case that to get ahead at The Independent – you got a beard.

But all that may have changed with a charity day stunt that has seen Sir Elton John shave all the hair off the face of his pal Evgeny Lebedev.

The proprietor of the Independent and Evening Standard titles has been filmed having his abundant facial foliage shorn.

After removing Lebedev's eyebrows as well, the singer joked: “Next year – his balls.”

Lebedev said: "In all the years that I've known him, Elton John's commitment to charity has been second to none. So when I asked him if he might shave my beard for Comic Relief, I knew he'd be up for it. What I didn't know is that he'd shave my eyebrows off as well. That wasn't in the script. Who said Elton's wild days were behind him?

"Having lost every hair on my face, I will be asking everyone I know to do their bit for Red Nose Day 2015. It turns out it's easy to make your face funny for money. But if you're doing it with a friend, just make sure you discuss eyebrows in advance.”

Red Nose Day is on 13 March. Watch the Lebedev shaving video here.

Text beard to 70703 to donate £3 to Comic Relief.

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