News Brian May at the launch of the anti-cull campaign

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) was embroiled in a row yesterday after the leak of a confidential internal report by a senior figure which said the charity’s future was in jeopardy because it had become “too political”.

Snap up some rarities on Sound and Vision's eBay site

At Sound and Vision's annual invitation-only event at London's Abbey Road Studios, where Tom Jones and The Feeling will perform this year, guests bid in a silent auction for photographs of pop stars in aid of Cancer Research. Others can bid for VIP tickets and music memorabilia, including hand-written lyrics by Plan B, Paul Weller and the Happy Mondays, through the Sound and Vision eBay site.

Music biopics: For those about to rock, please don't bother

The sensational storylines are already in place, says Fiona Sturges, so why are biopics of music stars so frequently dreadful?

'Is it because I has a mankini?' Ali G creator to take on Queen

Sacha Baron Cohen to play Freddie Mercury in a film about the star's colourful life

Sacha Baron Cohen to play Queen star Freddie Mercury



Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen is to swap moustaches for his latest role - after signing up to play late Queen star Freddie Mercury.

Free podcast: Kerry Ellis interview

Kerry Ellis amassed a legion of adoring fans when she went "green" playing Elphaba in Stephen Schwartz' smash-hit musical both in London and on Broadway. But her preeminence as a musical-theatre-diva-cum-rock-chick was secured earlier still when Brian May, the celebrated lead guitarist of Queen, asked her to play Meat in the Queen/Ben Elton show We Will Rock You. May quickly recognised a symbiosis between them and their CD single Wicked in Rock sprung a rip-roaring reimagining of "Defying Gravity" with Brian May's amazing guitar riffs a key feature.

Who the hell does Brian May think he is?

The Queen guitarist doubted reports that foxes attacked twin babies, reacted angrily to his critics, and now threatens to quit the UK unless we can all behave

Riffs

The first and latest records bought by David Arnold, the composer best known for his James Bond theme tune

Live: Those about to rock

FOO FIGHTERS

Human threats replace cosmic terror: Total eclipse

Clogged roads, overpriced B&Bs and an invasion of New Age travellers, or cloudy skies and a celestial sputter: take your pick

I've got my own project to do (sniff)

Musical differences. Personal differences. Sex. There are many reasons why bands break up. And they're all part of the career trajectory, man.

As Sir Billy Butlin's holiday camps turn 60, Decca Aitkenhead spends a cheerful but chilly weekend by the sea in Lincolnshire

When Billy Butlin's first holiday camp, on the bracing seafront of Skegness, opened on Easter Saturday 1936, a sign on the reception desk displayed a quotation from A Midsummer Night's Dream: "Our intent is all for your delight". Sixty years on, the Butlin organistion's intentions have not wavered, even if some of the delights on offer over a weekend on the Lincolnshire coast may not be exactly what Billy had in mind 60 years ago.

Too casual to take the limelight

Rock

ARTS The men who know

SHOW PEOPLE LEE AND HERRING

Star's tapes stolen

Burglars stole 'irreplaceable' tapes of newly composed music from the former Queen guitarist Brian May's home in Notting Hill, west London.
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas