Paul McCartney didn’t think he’d live past his 20s. The music icon made the shock confession in an interview with Britain’s Radio Times magazine, in honour of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ seminal Abbey Road album.

When the 77-year-old was asked what a younger McCartney would think of how his life panned out, the Let It Be musician responded: “He would be loving the fact that he was still here.

“Like a lot of people, I think I thought I was going to die at 28. Which is nothing to do with the car number plate on the cover,” he explained, alluding to conspiracy theories speculating the album’s famous cover included a number of clues indicating the star was actually dead.

A theory at the time claimed McCartney had been replaced in the band after dying in an accident, with apparent symbols, including the number plate on the Volkswagen Beetle car, seemingly confirming rumours.

And the star suggested the speculation even made him question things, joking: “To hear that I’d lasted till 77 would have been great news.”

Abbey Road has been remastered and will be reissued, along with 23 bonus recordings and demos, to mark its 50th anniversary on 27 September.

BBC Radio 2 will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album with RADIO 2 BEATLES, a four-day pop-up DAB radio station broadcasting from Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 September from London’s iconic Abbey Road Studios.