Nuns banned Elvis Costello taking a Beatles name

The Works Presents Elvis Costello on RTÉ One

Elvis Costello has revealed that he was so obsessed with the Beatles as a boy he tried to take John or Paul as a confirmation name. However his plans were blocked by the disapproving nuns at his secondary school.

Born in Liverpool, Declan Patrick MacManus (as he was known then) was sent to a Catholic nuns school in Middlesex and was confirmed at the very early age of nine. However confirmation names were controversial.

"They forbade us to take John or Paul....even though they were saints", he joked.

Costello makes the disclosure on The Works Presents on RTÉ where he reveals that religion loomed large in his early year.

"My dad obviously regarded himself as Irish, even though he was second generation. My mother, on the other hand, was a Protestant and she has no Irish in her at all."

He reveals that the mixed marriage caused massive family friction and his paternal grandfather was a deliberate no-show on the wedding day. "He took to the bed in disgust," the musician reveals.

As a young boy, Costello became besotted with The Beatles and asked his musician father, Ross MacManus if he could have his copy of the single Love Me Do.

It began a life long fascination with the fab-four and later he would not only perform with Paul McCartney on stage at a concert honouring the Beatle's late wife, Linda, but himself and Macca would co-write the song Veronica.

He recently published an acclaimed memoir in Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink which tracks his life in music, from early beginnings in Liverpool and London to performing at Live Aid.

The Works Presents can be seen on RTÉ Player